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CLASS 99


The blog for design law, in Europe and worldwide. This weblog is written by a team of design experts and fans. To contribute, or join us, or for any other reason, email class99@marques.org.

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Who we all are...
Blog Administrator
David Musker
Henning Hartwig
Hidde Koenraad
Krystian Maciaszek
Peter Gustav Olson
WEDNESDAY, 29 MAY 2024
Designs added to DesignView Image Search

Earlier this month, EUIPO announced that DesignView’s Image Search now includes designs from all EU national and regional IP offices. This is designed to make it easier to find visually similar designs, improving user experience and efficiency.

The DesignView database has nearly 22 million designs from the EU and beyond. The Image Search feature was introduced in June 2023 and initially included RCDs.

Images can be uploaded or dropped into the search in jpg, png, gif or tiff formats.

Picture taken from DesignView website

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 13.38
Tags: DesignView, Image Search,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA987

FRIDAY, 22 MARCH 2024
Design reform comes one step closer

On 14 March, the European Parliament formally adopted the texts for the new EU design regulation and EU design directive.

The texts were provisionally agreed with the Council on 5 December 2023. The Council must now formally adopt the texts and after that they will be published in the Official Journal.

More information on the regulation and the directive is available on the European Parliament’s website here and here respectively.

The design reform package aims to update definitions and fees for registered designs, which will become known as registered EU designs. It will also introduce a repair clause.

The MARQUES Designs Team continues to monitor the progress of the reform and will host a webinar on the topic later this year. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact a member of the Team.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 08.38
Tags: design reform, European Parliament,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA986

THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2024
Record number of Hague filings in 2023
Photo shows WIPO headquarters in Geneva

There were 25,343 designs included in international applications under the Hague System in 2023, a record number and an increase of 1% on 2022.

The number of designs increased for the third year in a row, according to data published by WIPO.

The top country of origin of applications was Germany (4,517 designs) followed by China (3,758) and the United States (2,668). 

The number of designs filed from China increased by 46.9% while Türkiye saw an increase of 45.7%.

Samsung Electronics (544 designs in published applications) overtook Procter & Gamble (525) to become the top filer. They were followed by LG Electronics and Porsche AG (both 352) and Xiaomi Mobile Software (315).

According to the WIPO data, the largest share of total designs was in means of transport (11.2%), followed by recording and communication equipment (8.6%), furnishings (7.6%), packages and containers (6.9%) and household goods (5.6%).

WIPO has also published data on the Madrid and Hague systems in 2023. Read more on WIPO’s website here and on the Class 46 blog here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.29
Tags: Hague System, WIPO, Samsung, Procter & Gamble,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA985

MONDAY, 4 MARCH 2024
DesignEuropa Awards 2024 update

There are less than two weeks left to submit applications for the fifth edition of the DesignEuropa Awards: the deadline is 15 March 2024.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a ceremony in Riga, Latvia later this year in the following categories: The Industry Award, The Entrepreneurs and Small Companies Award, The Lifetime Achievement Award and The Next Generation Design Award (new category).

EUIPO recently announced the composition of the jury who will select the finalists and winners of all the categories. They are:

  • Lorenzo Imbesi President, The Global Association of Art and Design Education and Research (Cumulus). Chairperson.
  • Agris Batalauskis Director, Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia
  • Ajda Bertok Designer and Co-founder, Remigo, winner in the "small and emerging companies" category of the DesignEuropa Awards 2023
  • Michal Bonikowski Industrial Designer, finalist in the "small and emerging companies" category of the DesignEuropa Awards 2021
  • António Campinos President, European Patent Office
  • Raffaella Mangiarotti Designer and Co-founder, Deepdesign, winner in the "industry" category of the DesignEuropa Awards 2023
  • Christina Melander President, Bureau of European Design Associations
  • Hiroshi Okutomi Head, Hague Legal Affairs Section, The Hague Registry, World Intellectual Property Organization
  • David Stone Global Head of Intellectual Property, Allen & Overy
  • Päivi Tahkokallio Founder, Tahkokallio Design+, Chairperson of DesignEuropa 2021 Jury
  • Isabelle Vérilhac Founder, Design With Isabelle, Chairperson of DesignEuropa 2023 Jury
  • Charlotte von der Lancken, Founder and Designer, CVDLAB

Find out more about the jury members and the DesignEuropa Awards on the dedicated page on EUIPO’s website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 16.51
Tags: DesignEuropa, Riga, EUIPO,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA984

MONDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2024
Examination of novelty of designs in Türkiye

A decision of 29 March 2023 of the General Assembly of the Turkish Court of Cassation has clarified whether the examination of lawfulness of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office’s decision on absolute novelty of a design is limited to the evidence submitted in the opposition process or whether ex officio examination can be conducted at any phase.

Güldeniz Doğan Alkan and Hatice İnci Turan report for Class 99.

The facts of the case

The design subject to the opposition
The design that was the basis of the opposition

After the publication of the design application (pictured top), a company opposed this application by claiming that it lacked novelty. It based its opposition on its own design (pictured below).

Based on the evidence submitted by the opponent, the Office refused the application due to lack of novelty. Thereupon, the applicant requested the cancellation of this decision.

The decision of the IP court

The IP court cancelled the decision and ruled that the application was new, as the expert report determined that it was new based (only) on the evidence submitted before the Office, even though it was not considered new based on ex officio research conducted by the experts.

The IP court overlooked the ex officio research of the experts and only considered the evaluation made by the Office based on the evidence submitted in the opposition process. It stated that the case was about determining whether the Office’s decision was lawful and correct at the date it was rendered.

Therefore, the court found that the novelty examination is limited to the documents provided before the Office. The Office is not entitled to request or examine further ex officio, as re-conducting the absolute novelty examination would be contrary to the assessment of the legality of the Office decision.

The decision of the Court of Cassation

Upon the appeal of the Office as defendant, the dispute was brought before the Court of Cassation, which reiterated that if a design has not been presented to the public anywhere in the world before the application or priority date, it shall be accepted as new.

Therefore, it ruled that the absolute novelty should be examined ex officio by the court by considering the evidence submitted by the parties and the expert examination. Therefore, it reversed the decision.

The decision of the IP Court

Upon the reversal, the IP Court persisted in its decision, stating that the opponent had the opportunity to put forward any evidence in the opposition process and the Office rendered its decision within the framework of this evidence.

It said that only this evidence should be considered; otherwise, it would be concluded that the Office would have made an unlawful decision based on evidence that was not brought before the Office, but which was reached by the experts on their own initiative.

After this decision, the Office appealed again and the dispute was brought before the General Assembly, this time to decide which of the decisions was correct.

The decision of the General Assembly

The General Assembly precisely and clearly ruled that the absolute novelty examination shall be made ex officio, independently from the evidence submitted in the opposition process and the court shall investigate whether the same design has been presented to the public anywhere in the world before the application or priority date.

Likewise, both in a cancellation action against the Office’s decision and in an invalidity action against a design registration, experts shall determine whether the design in question has met the absolute novelty requirement by conducting ex officio research.

Since the element of absolute novelty in patents, utility models and designs is related to public order, it is mandatory both for the Office and the courts to conduct absolute novelty examination ex officio. Therefore, the decision of the IP Court was annulled.

Comments

The decisions going back and forth between the courts contributed to the interpretation of the absolute novelty requirement of designs and its reflection into examination of the evidence both submitted in the opposition and ex officio gathered in court process.

Although the IP Court only considered the evidence submitted before the Office, the approach of the General Assembly complies with the principle of absolute novelty, which arises from public order.

Even if the Office’s decision was requested to be cancelled, the main purpose of the decision was to decide on the design’s absolute novelty and it shall be examined ex officio to meet the requirement of “absoluteness”.

Güldeniz Doğan Alkan and Hatice İnci Turan are members of Gün + Partners in Turkey and Güldeniz is a member of the MARQUES Designs Team

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 11.39
Tags: novelty, Turkey, examination ,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA983

MONDAY, 15 JANUARY 2024
EUIPO launches new e-filing RCD form

The EUIPO introduced a new e-filing form for registered Community designs on 13 January, which will eventually replace the existing forms for filing applications.

The new form will coexist with the current forms for three months, until 13 April 2024. After that date, only two forms will be available: the RCD easy filing and the new RCD advanced form.

According to EUIPO, the benefits of the new form include:

  • Fresh and adaptive design
  • Enhanced accessibility
  • Guided filing process
  • Tailored configurations
  • Automatic saved drafts
  • New application programming interface

Find out more on this page on the EUIPO and by watching the webinar on the registration process. EUIPO also welcomes feedback on the new form.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 12.08
Tags: EUIPO, RCD,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA982

TUESDAY, 19 DECEMBER 2023
EU design reform deal

The EU Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the designs package on 5 December, paving the way for updates to the directive on the legal protection of designs and the regulation on Community designs.

The changes include the renaming of RCD to EUCD, changes to the definition of design, adjustments to the fees and the introduction of a registered design symbol. The revised directive will also include a new repair clause.

The repair clause excludes from design protection replacement parts for a complex product if they are used to restore its original appearance. It only applies for repair purposes and if the replacement part looks exactly like the original piece (such as a damaged door, or a broken light of a car that should be replaced to make the car look as it was). This clause aims to liberalise the spare parts market and ensure that more accessible spare parts for repair are available to consumers. It provides for an eight-year transition period.

The agreement now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by the Council and Parliament.

MARQUES has worked alongside ECTA and INTA to provide substantial input during the discussions on the design reform, and the Designs Team held a workshop with speakers from EUIPO during the recent Annual Conference in Berlin.

More information about the reform package is available on the Designs Team page. The Team will provide further analysis once more details are available.

You can find out more in the meantime on the European Council website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.06
Tags: design reform, EU, European Parliament,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA981

MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.


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