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Protecting your design in Europe.

Written by Michael Coyle on 13 January 2015

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Registered Community design or unregistered Community design?

Both offer the following protection against:-

Manufacturing a product, putting a product on the market, offering a product for sale, marketing a product and importing and or exporting a product without the consent of the proprietor would be considered unlawful.

However, the scope of protection and duration of RCDs and UCDs differ quite significantly.

5 years from the date of filing and can be renewed in blocks of five years up to a maximum of 25 years. A RCD protects against similar designs. Importantly it does not matter if the similar design's owner knew of your design. The RCD right grants you a monopoly.

3 years only from the date on which the design was first made available to the public within the territory of the European Union. It only protects you if the similar design's owner was aware of your design.

So in terms of protection the RCD is stronger than a UDR. However the costs can add up and the UDR is a cheaper and more effective way of securing a design.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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