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We Protect Inventions, Innovations and Brands in United Kingdom, Europe,and around the World

European Community Designs

We offer comprehensive advice on the protection of product design and design features, including labels, product shape and get-up.

At the development stage, we help you identify and safeguard potential future design rights and navigate the rules on disclosure and grace periods with an eye to achieving protection. We can secure the right protection in the countries that matter to you, and aid in enforcing those rights, whether registered or unregistered, against competitor encroachment. We have internationally recognised expertise in handling U.K. and European designs, and assist in design protection and enforcement worldwide.

To be eligible for protection, designs must be new and must have an individual character.

In operation, Community designs registered by OHIM will ensure protection in all EU members states. Holders of registered Community designs have exclusive rights to use the design and prevent third parties from using it anywhere within the European union. Proprietors are be protected against deliberate copying and independent development of similar designs.

Registered Community designs are very cost effective, since they cover all European Union member states in a single registration. Further, for several designs of a same product type, multiple designs can be included in the same application, provided all the designs are included at the same time. This means that the cost of registration per design per country within the European Community can be low.

Additionally, as new member states join the European Union, registered Community designs are automatically extended to cover those new territories without any further registration procedure.

For registered Community designs, protection subsists for a maximum of 25 years with renewal required every 5 years from registration.


An application for a Community registered design may be filed by any natural or legal person and can include more than one design if the products to which the design is primarily intended to be applied are within the same classification.

In order to put an application on file at the Community Design Office (OHIM) and establish a filing date we would look to receive the following:

  • Full name and address of applicant (s);
  • At least one representation of each design;
  • An indication of the product to which each design is intended to be applied;
  • Confirmation as to whether deferred publication is required;
  • Number, country and date of priority application (if applicable).

In due course, to complete the filing requirements we will need:

  • Identification of the designer or team of designers;
  • Certified copy of priority document and verified translation (if applicable).

The earlier this information is supplied however, the quicker the application can proceed.


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