In this year 2023, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the registration of the very first Community design.
This registration concerned the design of a Casio calculator, which for the first time enjoyed unitary protection throughout the European Union.
Since then, 1.6 million Community designs have been registered before the EUIPO.
How can this success be explained?
Community design: What is it?
The Community design is an intellectual property title that confers protection on the "appearance" of a product throughout the European Union.
It can cover elements of appearance such as the characteristics of lines, contours, colors, as long as they are new and have an individual character.
Community designs are registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for a maximum term of protection of 25 years.
Why protect the design of your products?
As our colleague Matteo Mozzi recalled in a previous article, the design of a product is a key element of its commercial success. In particular, it makes it possible to stand out from the competition and to seduce consumers.
Many companies invest significant resources in designing designs that reflect their identity, support innovation or set them apart from the competition.
The protection of product design via a Community design has many advantages.
First of all, it allows you to defend your intellectual property rights against counterfeiters who could reproduce or imitate your designs. It thus offers the possibility to guarantee the exclusivity of a design and to maximize the value of a commercial capital.
In addition, the protection of a design can confer value on the product concerned, in particular in the eyes of investors who need certainty as to the extent and duration of protection.
Finally, where applicable, the filing of a Community design makes it possible to formalize the ownership of the design in addition to an assignment contract with a designer.
How to protect product design via a Community design?
To protect product design via a Community design, it is recommended to use the expertise of an Industrial Property Attorney.
This professional is able to provide support in a protection strategy according to needs and available budget.
In particular, it can help to:
- determine which design elements are protectable,
- carry out the necessary research to verify the originality of the design,
- prepare and file an application for registration with the EUIPO, and
- defend intellectual property rights in the event of a dispute.
In short, protecting product design via a Community design is a strategic approach for a company.
Not only does this protect its intellectual property and maximize the value of its business capital, but it also adds value to its product and makes it more attractive to investors.
However, the registration process can be complex and requires in-depth knowledge of the IP system.
For this reason, our team is at your disposal to help you effectively protect your designs and thus guarantee the sustainability of your business.