Registrare all'estero

 

The Community design or model offers its owner a right that is observed in all member states of the European Union, providing the same effect as a registration made directly in each member state. Not only, as new countries enter the European Union, the protection of the designs and models will also be extended to these countries without the need to go through further formalities, either on behalf of the applicant or owner, or on behalf of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), based in Alicante, Spain, in charge of registering trademarks, designs and models within the Community

The rules on the object of the registration, on the requisites regarding the validity of the title, and on the annulment are the same as those that govern national designs and models. The term of the registration is also the same: five years, which can be extended to 25.

A designer (or the future owner of a design or model) can request protection within one year of disclosing a design or model for the first time, without said disclosure affecting the registration. The novelty requisite of the design or model does not lapse for a one-year period from the first disclosure. Accordingly, the owner has the possibility of assessing whether to register protection for his/her design or model at a later time. The tolerance period for disclosure is particularly useful for small businesses, as they often do not have the economical resources to finance the systematic registration of designs and models, whose success or lack thereof on the market is uncertain.

The Community regulation also involves special protection of unregistered Community designs and models. In fact, the author of the Community design or model which is unregistered but has the requisites for valid registration, has the right to exclusivity for a period of three years from the date of the first public disclosure in the Community. Unlike registered Community designs and models, it is not necessary to submit an application to protect unregistered Community designs or models. This simplicity, however, has a downside, as the owner of the unregistered Community design or model can experience serious practical difficulties proving that the protection exists.

The application to register a Community design or model, written in one of the five official business languages (French, English, Italian, Spanish and German) on the designated forms, must be submitted to the OHIM offices, in person, by fax, mail, courier, electronically (e-filing), or at the IPTO  in Rome. The applicant must attach the graphic representation of the design or model, which can be a drawing or a photo, and pay the required fees. The same application can be used to request protection for multiple designs or models (multiple model - no maximum limit), as long as they belong to the same international classification of designs and models.

To have the latest information on how to submit an application, on the payment of fees and on the registration procedure, visit the OHIM website.

 

 

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