How the Community (European) Registered Design Process Works
Representations form an essential part of a Community (European) Registered Design. As such, they should be prepared carefully to ensure that the design, once registered, covers the intended scope. Various styles of representations (e.g. photographs, line drawings, CAD drawings, etc.) are acceptable, albeit that each style may carry with it different limitations on scope. For more information on representations for Community Registered Designs, please see our dedicated section on Representations.
Once representations are ready the application will be filed at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EUIPO allows multiple designs in the same official classification to be deposited within a single ‘multi-part application’; with this, the cost of filing per design decreases with the number of designs deposited. More information on this can be found in the section regarding ‘Multi-part’ Design Applications. The date of filing of registered intellectual property rights, including registered designs, is of great importance. By international convention, further registered design applications can be filed in other jurisdictions and these further applications can inherit the earliest filing date for a given registered design.
Once filed, the EUIPO examines the application only on the basis of formalities, which includes checking whether the representations are consistent and suitable for reproduction. The EUIPO does not substantively examine the application on the basis of a prior art search (as typically occurs in patent prosecution). Instead, third parties may request invalidation of a registered design. As a result, in the normal course of events, Community Registered design applications typically proceed to registration within a few days of being filed.
Although designs can be allowed to publish upon registration, applicants may prefer to defer publication of their design until some time after filing so as to keep their designs secret. Generally, publication can be deferred for up to 30 months after filing. After publication a certificate of registration is issued.
To remain in force, a Community Registered Design must be renewed every five years after the filing date by paying an official maintenance fee. The maximum term of a Community Registered Design is 25 years from filing, after which the Community Registered Design expires.
To remain in force, a Community Registered Design must be renewed every five years after the filing date