double_arrow Ask an Attorney


What Our Customers Say...

Based on 97 reviews
powered by Google
Robert Baker
Robert Baker
11:20 16 Apr 24
Great support from Will and the team getting my patent application to... first more
Kieran Thomas
Kieran Thomas
22:22 07 Mar 24
Robert and the team have been great to work with and we've just... successfully secured our first patent. Whenever we needed any advice or had any questions, Robert and the team were more than happy to help, and any answers were always communicated in a way which was easy to understand. Thank you all for helping us secure our first patent!read more
Christian Janke
Christian Janke
20:20 14 Dec 23
I recently had the pleasure of working with Joel Weston on what initially... seemed like a minor IPO issue, but it evolved into a comprehensive co-existence agreement with another company. I can’t express enough how much I valued Joel’s expertise, depth of knowledge, and meticulous guidance throughout this process. It was more than just legal advice; for me, it was akin to an enlightening crash course in IP law!read more
See All Reviews

Need a Product Designer?

Helpful Tips

Do I have to identify the designer?
It is possible to waive the name of the designer when filing a European Community Design, but you should be sure that you have the rights to the design


European design protection is provided by what is known as ‘Registered Community Design’ protection, which may in future be called ‘European Union registered designs’ to match with EU trade marks. A European Union Registered design is a unitary right giving protection in all of the countries of the European Union in a single registration. The official fees are low, therefore making it a highly cost-effective method of protecting designs across the whole of Europe.


The requirements for filing a European Community Design application are very similar to those for filing a UK design application, because the legislation governing these methods of protection is now effectively harmonised. Please see our corresponding page regarding UK design protection for further details.

What is protected by a Registered Community Design?

A Registered Community Design can protect the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation.

Here, ‘product’ means any industrial or handicraft item other than a computer program and, in particular, includes packaging, get-up, graphic symbols, typographic typefaces and parts intended to be assembled into a complex product. ‘Complex product’ means a product which is composed of at least two replaceable component parts, permitting disassembly and reassembly of the product.

What is needed to proceed with a European design application?

Before filing an application for a RCD, we need the following information:

  • Full applicant details – e.g. your full name or company name (plus state or incorporation) and address;
  • Representations – drawings or photographs of the design, suitable for quality reproduction by a photocopier, e.g. line drawings are most easily reproduced;
  • Details of any earlier “priority” applications;
  • The title or classification of the design.

For the representations, you should generally show the six views of a cube and a perspective view, but we can advise on this as necessary.

What happens when I’m ready to file an application?

Please explore the following sections for details of the Registered Community Design application procedure.


To be registrable, a design must be new and have individual character.

‘New’ means not disclosed anywhere in the world before the filing date of the registered design, subject to some exceptions. For example, the design is still considered new if the disclosure could not reasonably have become known to persons carrying on business in the European Economic Area.

A design is 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.

Certain types of designs are excluded from registration. For example, features of a design dictated solely by their technical function, or features which must have a particular form and dimensions for connection to another product, cannot be protected by a registered design.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.

Filing your application

Albright IP can prepare suitable images to protect your design and file them at the EUIPO. Normally, line drawings are most appropriate, but we can prepare suitable photographs if colour is particularly important to the design.

Registered Community design applications are typically filed using an online filing system. If certain criteria are met, an application can qualify for ‘fast track’ registration, and could be registered in a matter of days.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.

Design Protection in additional territories

Albright IP will remind you of the possibility of filing corresponding foreign design applications claiming priority from your European filing. This opportunity typically expires 6 months after the filing of your registered Community design application.

After this deadline, it is no longer possible to back date another design application to the date of your European application. Therefore, a prior disclosure may act against subsequent design applications.

Some territories, including the UK, allow a grace period of up to 1 year from public disclosure of a design in which to validly file an application, but most countries do not allow this. Therefore we do not advise that you rely on this grace period unless absolutely necessary, because this can prevent you from obtaining valid protection in some foreign countries.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.


Registered Community designs can be registered and in force relatively quickly, normally a couple of weeks or so after filing. However, if the application receives objections, these will need to be addressed before the design can be registered.

Once registered, the EUIPO will publish the design and issue the certificate of registration, and is treated as having been in force from the date of filing the design application.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.


Once registered, a registered Community design will remain in force for 5 years. Renewal fees can then be paid to extend the period of protection by another 5 years, up to a maximum term of protection of 25 years.

For a RCD, design renewal fees can be paid up to 6 months late, with a surcharge. The cost of renewal tends to increase for each additional 5 year period in which the design is kept in force. If a renewal fee is not paid, the registered design will lapse.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.

Design Law - Legal Texts

What if I have a lot of design variations to protect?

It is possible to file multiple designs in a single application, subject to the designs being in the same classification. This is more cost-effective than filing separate applications.

For further advice on this, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.