Registering a European Community Design

A Registered Community Design (RCD) is a monopoly right that can increase the intellectual property value of your business while providing your brand with heightened protection.

Obtaining a successful RCD will not only give you exclusive rights of use for up to 25 years (provided it is renewed every 5 years), but it could also prevent any unauthorised individuals from infringing your works.

Article 3 of the Design Regulation defines designs as “The appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colour, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation”.

Registrability

To be valid for registration a design must:

– ‘Be new’  – this means the design must differ from prior registered designs and not have been disclosed anywhere previously or have any connection to an existing design;

– Posses individual character – your design must create a different impression from prior designs,  however, it need not have artistic merit;

– Not contain the use of protected emblems or flags; or

– Be inoffensive.

Registering your design 

Once you are sure your design meets the criteria,  you can file it directly through the EUIPO or alternatively, ask one of the experts here at Lawdit to file your design for you – hassle free!

After submitting the filing, the EUIPO will examine your application.  If there are no objections and you haven’t asked to defer your registration, your design will be published and registered shortly after. Your design will then be added to the list of registered designs and made public.

Deferring the Registration

If you wish to keep the design a secret from your competitors, you can request for it to be deferred from being published for a period of up to 30 months. Do note however that the deferral for each design carries a separate fee.

Once you are ready to publish the designs on the EUIPO register, you must ensure to notify the EUIPO with at least 3 months’ notice and pay the publication fee (if you haven’t already done so).

Upon successful registration , your design will be granted protection across the 27 member states of the European Union for a period of up to 25 years!

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