Community (EU) designs
Community (EU) designs

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Community (EU) designs
  • What are Community designs?
  • Registered Community designs
  • Scope
  • Duration
  • Ownership
  • Relationship with UK registered designs and Hague designs
  • Application procedure
  • Registration process for RCDs—flowchart
  • Infringement and litigation
  • More...

What are Community designs?

The Community Designs Regulation (Regulation (EC) 6/2002 (consolidated version 01.07.2013)) brought into being the registered Community design (RCD) and the unregistered Community design (UCD), which are collectively referred to as Community designs. The Community Designs Regulation is directly applicable in all EU Member States.

RCDs and UCDs are unitary design rights which cover the whole of the EU and which can be enforced accordingly. RCD protection is achieved via registration of the design at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and UCD protection arises automatically, provided that certain conditions are met.

RCDs and UCDs are sometimes referred to as registered EU designs and unregistered EU designs, respectively, but this terminology is not used in this Practice Note.

From 1 January 2021, the UK is no longer an EU Member State and is no longer part of the Community designs regime. For more information about the impact of Brexit on Community designs, see the Brexit section below.

For a comparison of RCDs, UCDs and design rights available in the UK, see Practice Note: Comparison tables for design protection available in the UK.

For more information about protection and management of designs, see Practice Note: Protection and management of designs—a practical guide and for more information about design disputes, see Practice Note: Design disputes—a practical guide.

Registered Community designs

Scope

RCDs protect the appearance of the whole/part of a product resulting

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