EU Design Package: modernization and simplification in sight
The long-awaited proposals for a revised European directive and revised regulation on Designs have been released.
At this stage, they provide for several interesting improvements for design systems in the European Union, such as:
- abolishing the so-called ‘unity of class’ requirement so that applicants are able to combine several designs in one multiple application without being limited to products of the same Locarno Class and with the possibility of benefiting from a bulk discount;
- modernizing the requirements regarding the views to remove the current digital restrictions and accept other modes of representation than fixed images; while the terms remain to be specified (video files, CAD, etc.?), this should allow a better design view;
- an harmonisation of national design systems and their alignment with EU proceedings, including, inter alia, the abolition of the examination of novelty and individual character in the Member States which apply the same and the generalised introduction of invalidity proceedings.
Changes regarding fee structure and deferment of publication are also planned, which may give rise to more reservations.
The survival of the simplified French design may be questioned.
But the legislative process has only just begun and projects will undoubtedly evolve.
To be followed...