Registration of an Industrial Design (RCD) in the European Union
A protection for a Community design (RCD) can be obtained simultaneously in all member states of the European Union (EU). This is achieved through the use of an accessible and simplified procedure, by submitting an application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Abiding the necessary requirements, the procedure for Registration of a Community Design (RCD) is carried out quickly and relatively cheap. The administrative body, which is the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), is based in Alicante, Spain. The unified procedure for registration Registration of European Designs (RCD) saves time and money. The Regulation provides that the proceedings before the European Office (EUIPO) may be conducted, at the choice of the applicants, in any of the languages of the EU Member States, as well as in combination with one of the mandatory working languages - English, French, German, Spanish or Italian.
The statutory official terminology of the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for EU Industrial Designs is "Registered Community Design" or RCD. For convenience in civil and commercial turnover, it is also called" European design" or "EU design“.
It is important to note that with the registration the European design, a protection is received for all EU Member States at the same time, ie. has a unified character. In this situation, the applicants are not given the opportunity to choose specific countries in which to obtain registration of their Industrial Designs (RCD). The conclusion is that for each EU Member State, the registration of an Industrial Design (RCD) gives its holder equal rights with those that they would have received for the national registration of the same Industrial Design in that country. This is a fundamental principle adopted by all EU Member States.
Persons entitled to register European Designs (RCD)
The procedure for registering EU designs (RCDs) at the European Office (EUIPO) is now facilitated and accessible to a wide range of people, whether or not they are citizens or based in the EU. There is a requirement for individuals (natural or legal) applicants for RCD designs that originate from the European Economic Area (do not have an address registration or company registered office in a Member State), they need to be represented by a competent European patent attorney for all proceedings before the European Office (EUIPO). The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of all Member States of the European Union (EU) plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
What objects can be protected by a registration of a European Industrial Design (RCD)
By registering a EU Industrial Design (RCD), the visible appearance of the product (label, packaging, etc.) or parts of it are protected. They derives from the individual specifics of: the shape, lines, contours, color combinations, typeface or other of its ornaments. These objects for registration include a wide range of different products of handicrafts, industry or construction - from various tools, household goods, jewelry or luxury items, toys, electrical appliances, furniture, vehicle compartments, cloths, to the appearance of the retail outlets. In the modern world of dynamic trade relations, the Industrial Design is an extremely important element in connection with the packaging of the goods. The registered EU designs (RCDs) need to be new and original. As their novelty is required to be worldwide.
Rights conferred by the registration of a European Industrial Design (RCD)
The Registered European Design (RCD) grants its holder a number of exclusive rights - to use it, to prohibit third parties without his consent, to use it (including production, storage, supply, marketing, export, import) for such purposes, for which the Industrial Design is included in the scope of the protection.
Term of the registration of an EU industrial design (RCD)
The term of the registered European Industrial Design (RCD) is 5 years, which starts from the priority date of submission of the application to the European Office EUIPO. The registration of the designs can be renewed up for a maximum of 25 years.
The protection of the Industrial Design in the EU Member States can be obtained mainly in one of two possible ways - by direct application at the European Office EUIPO, such as Community Design (RCD), or by an application at the International Bureau of WIPO, as an international industrial design, in accordance with the Hague System, with reference to the EU. Regardless of the chosen variant, the assistance of a licensed patent attorney is recommended, moreover in many cases, it is even mandatory.