European Union Designs: Route to registration

A design protects the appearance of a product and is intrinsically linked to a product. If you just want protection in one EU Member State, we can make a design application directly at the relevant national IP office. This is the national route. If you want protection in more Member States of the EU, we can apply for an EU design from EUIPO – this is the European route. The advantage of registering an EU design, is that it will obtain protection in all the member States of the European Union, avoiding thereby additional costs and time.

First step – Filing

When filing a EU design the following information is to be provided in the application:

  1. Details of the applicant:

Name, nationality and address of the applicant is to be indicated.

  1. Indication of the product:

An application for a EU design must indicate the products in which the design is intended to be incorporated or to which it is intended to be applied, and should be classified according to the Locarno Classification.

It is not compulsory for the applicant to classify the products in which their design is intended to be incorporated or to which it is intended to be applied. This is, however, highly recommended in order to speed up the registration procedure.

The indication of the product must correspond with the representation of the design.

  1. Graphic representation

The purpose of the graphic representation is to disclose the features of the design for which protection is sought.

It is recommended to show the design from certain directions (angles): perspective view(s), front view, top view, right side view, left side view, back view and bottom view.

A maximum of seven different views can be filed in order to represent the design.

All views must correspond to one and the same design, which must be represented on a neutral background

  1. Indication of the designer

The application may include: (a) a citation of the designer(s), or (b) a collective designation for a team of designers, or (c) an indication that the designer(s) or team of designers has/have waived the right to be cited.

  1. Priority claim

This is optional, although highly recommended.

Where the application claims the priority of one or more previous applications, it is necessary to provide the relevant details of the earlier application or of the exhibition, submitting a certificate thereof. Priority documents may still submit within 3 months of the filing date.

Second step – Prosecution

The EUIPO carries out an examination of the substantive protection requirements, which is limited to two grounds for non-registrability: a) Compliance with the definition of a design and b) Compliance with Public policy and morality.

A formal examination is also conducted, concerning the requirements that all applications must comply with, such as representation requirements, indication of the product etc.

Where an objection is raised by the examiner in respect of one of the two above grounds for non-registrability, the applicant will be given the opportunity to withdraw or amend the representation of the design or to submit its observations within 2 months

Third step – Registration

An application complying with all registration requirements can be registered within two working days, if the conditions for the accelerated procedure (Fast Track) are met. Our team will advice you about this conditions, so that your application can comply with the accelerated procedure.

If no objections are made, the EUIPO will publish the design and a Certificate of Registration will be issued.

A registered Community design is initially valid for five years from the date of filing and can be renewed in blocks of five years up to a maximum of 25 years.

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