DESIGN means the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.
Product means any industrial or handicraft item, including inter alia parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs.
A design shall be protected by a Community design to the extent that it is new and has individual character.
A registered Community design shall be considered to be new if no identical design has been made before the date of filing of the application for registration of the design for which protection is claimed, (or, if priority is claimed, the date of priority).
Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details.
A registered Community design shall be considered to have individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public before the date of filing the application for registration (or, if a priority is claimed, the date of priority).
In assessing individual character, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design shall be taken into consideration.
The scope of the protection conferred by a Community design shall include any design which does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression.
In assessing the scope of protection, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing his design shall be taken into consideration.
The scope of the protection conferred by a Community design is not limited to the products indicated in the application, but extends to all other products in which the design could be incorporated – for example, is someone sells in the EU a bathtub in the exact shape of our RCD (and our RCD is just a food container) he would infringe that RCD.
A Community design shall not subsist in features of appearance of a product which are solely dictated by its technical function.
A Community design shall not subsist in features of appearance of a product which must necessarily be reproduced in their exact form and dimensions in order to permit the product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied to be mechanically connected to or placed in, around or against another product so that either product may perform its function.
A registered Community design shall confer on its holder the exclusive right to use it and to prevent any third party not having his consent from using it. The aforementioned use shall cover, in particular, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.
What is protected by registered Community designs is what is visible in their drawings – as they appear in the EUIPO register and in the certificate of registration (except for the features solely dictated by their technical function). It is completely irrelevant what products you put on the market. You can even not offer any of these types of products at all and still pursue claims against the entity that copies your registered designs for commercial use. Designs (unlike registered trademarks) do not have a use requirement.
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