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Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 on Community designs

Written by Michael Coyle on 05 August 2015

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The aim of the Regulations was to introduce a unified system for obtaining a Community design to which uniform protection is given with uniform effect throughout the entire territory of the Community.

Therefore two forms of protection were thus introduced one being a short-term unregistered design and the other being a longer term registered design. In either case a Community design should not be upheld unless the design is new and unless it also possesses an individual character in comparison with other designs. The registered design granted users a monopoly whereas the unregistered Community design should, however, constitute a right only to prevent copying. Protection could not therefore extend to design products which are the result of a design arrived at independently by a second designer. This right should also extend to trade in products embodying infringing designs.

Article 4

Requirements for protection

1. A design shall be protected by a Community design to the extent that it is new and has individual character.

2. A design applied to or incorporated in a product which constitutes a component part of a complex product shall only be considered to be new and to have individual character:

 (a) if the component part, once it has been incorporated into the complex product, remains visible during normal use of the latter; and

 (b) to the extent that those visible features of the component part fulfil in themselves the requirements as to novelty and individual character.

3. 'Normal use' within the meaning of paragraph (2)(a) shall mean use by the end user, excluding maintenance, servicing or repair work.

Article 5

Novelty

1. A design shall be considered to be new if no identical design has been made available to the public:

 (a) in the case of an unregistered Community design, before the date on which the design for which protection is claimed has first been made available to the public;

 (b) in the case of a registered Community design, 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.

2. Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details.

Article 6

Individual character

1. A 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:

 (a) in the case of an unregistered Community design, before the date on which the design for which protection is claimed has first been made available to the public;

 (b) in the case of a registered Community design, before the date of filing the application for registration or, if a priority is claimed, the date of priority.

2. In assessing individual character, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design shall be taken into consideration.

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