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Protecting fashion- its cool to rely on unregistered designs

Written by Michael Coyle on 30 August 2014

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This right confers automatic protection for three years from the date on which the design is first made available to the public within the EU. Its free, automatic and gives the owner the exclusive right to use the design. No-one can deliberate copy it. Three years is perfect.

You should be aware of the following:

A design protects "the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation".

Your design must be NEW and have INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER. The former means that there must not be any identical design which has been made available to the public. Designs are identical "if their features differ only in immaterial details" - see Article 5.

The latter means that a design will 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" before the filing or priority date, in the case of a registered Community design or before the date on which the design has first been made available to the public, in the case of an unregistered Community design - see Article 6.

The assessment as to whether a design has individual character should be based on whether the overall impression produced on an informed user viewing the design clearly differs from that produced on him by the existing design, considering: the nature of the product to which the design is applied or in which it is incorporated; the industrial sector to which the product belongs; and the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design.

So the fashion world is ephermal! No need to spend silly money - rely on your unregistered rights.

 

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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