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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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David Musker
Henning Hartwig
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World Industrial Design Day 2019

Saturday 29 June marked World Industrial Design Day 2019!

Find out more about what was happening using the hashtags #WorldIndustrialDesignDay and #WIDD2019 on social media.

Below are some of the messages on Twitter to mark the occasion. Readers are also invited to share their experiences of the day in the comments to this post.

For more information on industrial designs, visit the Designs Team page on the MARQUES website.


Tomorrow is World Industrial Design Day! #DYK that design-intensive industries contribute 11.9 % of employment and 13.4 % of GDP in the EU? Learn more about design rights and how to register them at EU level: https://t.co/OrxaaYGLb4#WIDD2019 https://t.co/tvlDCSweF4

— European Union Intellectual Property Office (@EU_IPO) 28 June 2019

Today is…World Industrial Design Day!🎉 Did you know that fashion, furniture and food packaging…can all be industrial designs? 🤔 What are industrial design rights (also called design patents), and why are the important? Find out at https://t.co/SFPRDToEF9. #WIDD2019 pic.twitter.com/2wNaK62E0m

— World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (@WIPO) 29 June 2019

Happy World Industrial Design Day to designers everywhere 🌍

Over 100,000 designs are registered with the @EU_IPO every year! The more attention businesses pay to design, the more successful they are, find out why here 👉 https://t.co/lOuJZT6nee @worlddesignorg #WIDD2019 pic.twitter.com/Ow4MikQyLB

— Ideas Powered (@IdeasPowered) 29 June 2019
Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 09.16
Tags: WIDD, industrial design, EUIPO, WIPO,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA876

MONDAY, 17 JUNE 2019
EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme

MARQUES Education Team members Shane Smyth, Sandra Muller, Charlotte Duly and José Amorim took part in the closing ceremony of the first edition of the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme (ETMD EP) in Alicante on 11 June (pictured right).

Speaking at the Ceremony, Shane said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this education initiative. It was an honour to work with colleagues across such a broad stage from EUIPO, Academia and Sister Organisations. We are conscious that this is a pilot project but the piloting has been of such a high standard and has taken the course participants on such a flight of excellence that Marques hope that the pilot will stay with us for the future.

ETMD EP second edition

As previously reported on the Class 46 blog, the second edition of the Programme is now open for registration until 30 June 2019. It will start on 9 September 2019 to June 2020, with examination from 8 to 10 June 2020. There will be two three-day on-site workshops in October and March, as well as online testing.

The programme comprises 150 hours of courses involving e-learning, webinars and two three-day face-to-face sessions at the EUIPO in Alicante, Spain. It will be conducted in English.

The Programme’s main goals are to enhance IP professionals’ knowledge of EU trade mark and design law and EUIPO practice and tools, and to improve operational effectiveness by increasing the quality of applications and processes and by generating and sharing knowledge.

To be eligible for the Programme, applicants must be either (a) a legal practitioner qualified in an EEA Member State and having their place of business within the EEA or (b) a professional representative admitted and entered on the lists maintained by the EUIPO.

Registration is on a first-come first-served basis and limited to the first 100 participants. Tuition fees are €1,500. For more information, see the dedicated page on EUIPO’s website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 22.38
Tags: ETMD EP, EUIPO, Education Team,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA875

MONDAY, 17 JUNE 2019
Mastering the Hague Agreement in Milan

MARQUES held the latest of its events on the Hague System in Milan on 6 June. The seminar was organised in association with WIPO and hosted by Bugnion SpA and Studio Torta SpA.

Like similar seminars held in other cities, the Milan event focused on practical issues with the Hague System, in particular the challenges encountered in new members that have substantive examination.

Gregoire Bisson, Director, The Hague Registry, Brands and Design Sector, WIPO discussed the experiences gained after the recent accessions of South Korea, Japan and the USA. He also highlighted the growing interest in the Hague System among Italian users: Italy has risen to become the number 4 country for international design registrations.

In the second part of the seminar, Ing. Fabio D’Angelo, Italian and European Patent and Design Attorney and Partner of Studio Torta, compared international design protection with the registered Community design system. He also presented a hypothetical case study on protecting the shape of a shampoo bottle.

“This was a very interesting exercise, and provoked some stimulating questions about drawings, dotted lines etc,” said Cristina Rolando, a Partner of Studio Torta. “It showed how you need to choose the most appropriate design system depending on what you want to protect.”

About 15 people took part in the seminar, most of them IP practitioners who regularly handle design right applications. “The number of participants made for a very interactive workshop, with lots of questions and discussion,” said Simone Verducci Galletti of Bugnion SpA.

The seminar lasted about three hours, including networking drinks after the presentations and discussion. Those attending were able to obtain two professional credit points, thanks to accreditation by the Italian Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale.

“We had very good feedback from the audience. In particular, some users said the seminar helped them to understand the potential problems that can arise in different jurisdictions and the tools that are available to solve those problems,” said Simone.

Attendees also took away others lessons, added Cristina: “It showed the importance of harmonising procedural requirements in the future. As we know from the trade mark field, such harmonisation is very important in making the system more predictable for users.”

Find out more about future MARQUES events here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 15.30
Tags: Hague Agreement, WIPO, Gregoire Bisson, Milan,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA874

Just one week until Mastering the Hague Agreement in Milan

The next MARQUES Mastering the Hague Agreement event takes place next Thursday, 6 June in Milan, and there are still some places available!

If you are considering registering, you might like to know that MARQUES has obtained accreditation for the seminar from the Italian Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale. This means that participants who attend and sign the register at the beginning and end of the event will obtain two professional credit points.

The half-day seminar starts at 15:30 and is the latest in a series of MARQUES events providing tips on the functioning of the Hague System and how to use it in practice. Registration costs €75. More information is available on our earlier Class 99 post and on the registration page on the MARQUES website.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 07.28
Tags: Hague Agreement, WIPO, Gregoire Bisson,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA873

FRIDAY, 10 MAY 2019
Master the Hague Agreement in Milan

The next edition of the popular MARQUES event on the Hague Agreement, organised in association with WIPO, will take place in Milan on 6 June.

The half-day seminar will provide tips on the functioning of the Hague System and how to use it in practice. There will be a particular focus on the different substantive requirements in examining jurisdictions, with advice for European users on navigating new Hague members, such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

The Milan event is being hosted by Bugnion S p A and Studio Torta S p A and will be hosted at Bugnion’s office at Viale Lancetti, 17. The programme will be in English and Italian.

Registration will start at 15.30 and there will be two substantial presentations by Gregoire Bisson (Director, The Hague Registry, Brands and Designs Sector, WIPO) and Ing. Fabio D’Angelo (Patent and Design Consultant, Studio Torta).

The seminar costs €75. To find out more:

See the overview

Read the programme

Register online

For information on previous editions of Mastering the Hague Agreement, see the Class 99 blog posts on the events in Munich, London, Copenhagen and Paris.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 10.32
Tags: Hague Agreement, WIPO, Gregoire Bisson, Milan,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA872

Further (and FINAL) extension of EU designs consultation

The European Commission has extended the deadline for the consultation on the evaluation of EU legislation on design protection until 30 April 2019 (midnight Brussels time). 

MARQUES understands that the deadline will not be extended beyond this date, so anyone interested in submitting comments should do so this month. 

MARQUES encourages members interested in design law to consider making a submission.

For more information, see the following pages:

Consultation (European Commission)

Interview with Designs Team members

More details about the evaluation (Class 99)


Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 14.46
Tags: design consultation, European Commission,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA871

Designs Team members on the EU designs consultation

Class 99 presents an interview with Sebastian Fischoeder of Bird & Bird LLP, Co-Chair of the MARQUES Designs Team, and Hanna Karin Held, thyssenkrupp Intellectual Property GmbH, a member of the Team, about the public consultation on the evaluation of EU legislation on design protection, which runs until 15 April 2019.


Why is this consultation happening now?

Sebastian: After the EU Design Directive and the EU Design Regulation entered into force in 2001/2002 and after having reviewed and amended the EU trade mark regime, the EU Commission started a review of the EU design law regime.

The Commission has commissioned an economic review and a legal review of the design system in the EU, which were published in 2015 and 2016. There is now a public consultation which has been extended to 15 April this year.

What are the main issues people should be aware of?

Hanna: There are three main objectives that we at MARQUES have highlighted: (1) it is important to have a clarification of the law and correction of misunderstandings in the case law; (2) it’s important to have some harmonisation and simplification of rules; and (3) there are political issues such as spare parts and 3D printing, which people will have different views on.

Sebastian: As to spare parts: It’s important to emphasise that the political issue of spare parts should not obstruct the design review. If this issue cannot be agreed, it should be postponed to future legislation, rather than holding up the other important issues we’ve raised.

In terms of harmonisation and simplification, one important thing is to get rid of the same-class requirement in multiple applications by amending the Regulation and the Directive. Another is to get rid of the RCD restriction on seven pictures for a design application: abolishing such formal requirements would make international filings easier. Also, such requirements are an obstacle to aligning international standards.

Hanna: This is an important point. We are now constrained to just seven views in the EU. At my company, we sometimes file in 20 countries at the same time, including the EU, for one product. In the EU we can only have seven views whereas in countries such as Japan we sometimes need to file more.

Applicants should be able to use the same set of pictures around the globe, and this is something MARQUES is pursuing at WIPO and other forums too.

Sebastian: Other issues related to harmonisation include the deferment regime, which we would like to see mandatory and aligned at the member state level. We would also like to see it mandatory that there is no ex ante examination of the validity of designs in EU member states.

Hanna: One thing that is basic but important is terminology: we already talk about “EU designs” informally and it would help understanding, particularly for small companies, if RCDs are also officially called EU designs (similar to EU trade marks).

What are the issues arising from case law?

Sebastian: This is quite a broad category of issues arising from the legal review of the design protection system. That recommended introducing a general visibility requirement and we are strongly against that, and believe that the case law needs to be corrected. There is and should be only a visibility requirement for component parts in complex products. Introducing a general visibility requirement would create protection hurdles, contrary to applicants’ interests.

We also don’t want design protection extended to non-visible features, such as tactile aspects of a product. And we would like a much narrower and clearer definition of technically dictated design features which are excluded from protection. The notion of technicality has been interpreted far too broadly, and does not distinguish between mere functionality and technicality.

We would like stricter rules on prior disclosure: too-remote disclosures should not be considered as novelty-destroying. Finally, we would like a clarification that GUI appearances are not excluded by the computer programs exclusions. In some jurisdictions, protection of GUIs is not possible and we would like to see a clear signal on this from the EU.

Hanna: The GUI issue is one of the most important issues for many companies. Design is no longer just about a product; it can be virtual applications. There is a lot of investment in GUIs to distinguish applications so it is important to be able to protect the get-up and the visual look. There is no harmonisation on a global level, and as a first step it is important to know that GUIs can be protected independently of the product.

What about fees?

Sebastian: Designs are fairly inexpensive and are good value for money compared to other IP rights. There are two minor issues with fees. First, costs per design can get very cheap when you have a lot of applications in a multiple application. We think a bulk rebate is fair as it reflects the administrative burden. Second, renewal fees increase significantly with each renewal term. We don’t understand why that is – it seems illogical that they increase.

MARQUES understands that it can be burdensome for small Member States to maintain a design registration infrastructure so prices at EUIPO can’t be too low or national systems could collapse. We need to maintain the freedom of choice for applicants between national and EU systems.

What has MARQUES done so far?

Sebastian: After the legal review was published in 2016, its conclusions sparked some discussion on whether and where, and to what extent, changes in the law are necessary. MARQUES came up with a comprehensive position paper and we also published a joint paper with ECTA and INTA. Both are available on the MARQUES Position Papers page.

The MARQUES position was based on feedback from rights holders and, in particular, corporate Team members. Interestingly, the feedback was not just focussed on changing the existing law, but also identified the need to clarify the existing law in order to preserve an overall well-functioning system.

Should companies also consider responding to the consultation?

Hanna: I would definitely recommend they do. There are several parts in the consultation and there is room to reply just to those questions that are most basic and to the general questions for everyone. You can skip the questions that are specific to legal advisers if you want.

Who can respond to the questionnaire?

Sebastian: Anyone can, and we encourage anyone who has an interest in design law, whether professional or academic, to do so.

Hanna: This is also a good opportunity to raise the awareness of designs in general in companies and firms. Design protection is often under-estimated by both companies and lawyers. It’s cheap, quick and efficient so can be very useful against counterfeits.

Find out more about the public consultation, and follow a link to the questionnaire, on the European Commission website here.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 15.35
Tags: design consultation, European Commission,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA870

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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