EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design. They also work with the IP offices of the EU Member States and international partners to offer a similar registration experience for trade marks and designs across Europe and the world.
The EUIPO works in partnership with national and regional EU intellectual property offices, user groups, the European Commission, the European Parliament and other international organisations.
For Community design protection, a design must be new and have an individual character.
According to the definition given in the Community design regulation ‘design’ means 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.
A design only covers the appearance of a product. A design does not protect the function of a product.
When protecting a product with both a patent and a design registration (i.e. a new product can perfectly include both new functions and a new appearance), the timing of the applications will be crucial, as it must be ensured that the publishing of one or other of the rights does not preclude the finding of novelty for the other application.
Design is an important business asset for innovative companies, and helps to create jobs and support economic growth.