1. What is a design? The outward appearance of a product, or part of it, that results from the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials and/or its ornamentation.
2. What is a product? A product can be any industrial or handicraft item including packaging, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces but excludes computer programs. It also includes products that are composed of multiple components, which may be disassembled and reassembled.
3. Why a Community design? 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 for one area encompassing all Member States. The Community design has equal effect throughout the Community and the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union will mean that this area of protection will increase greatly. The OHIM only deals with applications for registered Community designs, as an unregistered Community design requires no filing.
4. Why protect your designs? 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 investment in design.
5. What is the scope of protection of a registered Community design? Registered design right gives the owner an exclusive right to use and prevent making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting, using or stocking for such purposes, products incorporating the design, which do not produce a different overall impression for a period of up to 25 years.
6. What is the cost? The official fees for the design registration are €350 for a period of 5 years (renewable in blocks of 5 years, up to a maximum of 25 years).