Community Designs

A design is the outward appearance of a product or part of it, which results from the lines, contours, colour, shape, texture, materials and its ornamentation.

The design or shape of a product can be synonymous with the branding and image of a company and can become an asset with a monetary value that could increase. If you do not apply for protection others may benefit from your investments.

Community design protection is directly enforceable in each Member State and it provides both the option of an unregistered and a registered community design right encompassing all Member States.

An applicant can have a national design registration and then apply for a registered Community design, provided the application for the Community Design is filed within one year of the disclosure of the national design.


The class according to the Locarno Classification may be indicated by the applicant. If the applicant uses the terminology of Eurolocarno, the applicant will find at the same time the class to which the product belongs and this should also result in a swifter registration.


One or more priorities can be claimed in the application or subsequently to the filing of the application.

The same priority may apply for all designs contained in a multiple application.

Although priority documents (Convention and Exhibition priority) may be supplied within 3 months after the request of the priority claim, it is recommended to send priority documents to the Office as soon as possible.

Convention priority

The applicant should supply:

  • the indication of the country of first filing or ISO code of this country
  • the date of first filing
  • the filing number

A same design application can have several priorities.

The applicant must file a copy of the Certificate of filing or of the registration certificate within three months from the filing date of the RCD application.

Priority may be claimed on the basis of a previous application of a design or utility model filed in or for a State which is a party to the Paris Convention or a member of the World Trade Organisation. Priority can only be claimed where the application for a Community Design is filed within 6 months from the date of filing of the first application.

Exhibition priority

The applicant should supply:

  • the name of the exhibition
  • the date and place of the exhibition
  • the date of first disclosure

The same design application can have several priorities.

The applicant must file a certificate issued by the authority responsible for the protection of industrial property at the exhibition within three months from the filing date of the RCD application. This certificate must declare that the design was in fact incorporated or applied to the product and disclosed at the exhibition, and must state the opening date of the exhibition.

If the first disclosure of the product did not coincide with the opening date of the exhibition, the date of such first disclosure of the product must be indicated. The certificate must be accompanied by an identification of the actual disclosure of the product, duly certified by that authority.

Exhibition priority can only be granted where the application for a registered Community design is filed within 6 months from the date of the first exhibition of the design.

Documents Required

The documents required for the registration of a Community design are:

  1. the name, surname and address of the applicant.
  2. Representation/s of a single design or multiple designs and the different views where relevant. One copy of each view would be required. However, if a specimen of the design is to be presented then one would need to send 5 identical copies of the specimen.
  3. a statement providing details of the novelty of the design together with a description of the design and its characteristics.
  4. a copy of the application and drawings filed abroad, duly certified, whenever priority is claimed.
  5. our standard power of attorney with the signatures thereon attested by a notary or legalised with the Apostille on the reverse side in terms of the Hague Convention or duly legalised by a Diplomatic or Consular Representative.


Publication may be delayed for up to 30 months thereby enabling one’s creations to remain confidential until one is in a position to disclose them.

Duration of Registration

Upon registration by the Office, a design which meets all the requirements shall be protected by a registered Community design for a period of five years as from the date of the filing of the application. The right holder may have the term of protection renewed for one or more periods of five years each, up to a total term of 25 years from the date of filing.

The services provided by the firm in this field include:

  • Registration, administration and litigation in relation to trademarks, patents, designs and other intellectual property rights.
  • Registration and administration of European Community Trademarks and Community Designs as well as assistance in the protection of intellectual property rights internationally, both within and outside of Europe.
  • Advice and assistance including litigation in relation to copyright.
  • Advice and assistance in relation to the assignment of intellectual property rights.

Further information may be obtained from one of our leading experts by contacting us below:

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