A revised Guidelines for registration of European designs.

europe-1395916_960_720EUIPO reports about the revised Guidelines for Examination of Registered Community Designs.

The revision focused on a number of important issues, such as the role of product indications and functionality in designs, and incorporating recent Court rulings into the Guidelines.

For more information here.

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Christian Archambeau is the new Executive Director of the EUIPO

Christian_Archambeau_newsChristian Archambeau is the new Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), after his appointment was confirmed by the European Council.

Mr Archambeau was born in Belgium and has held different positions related to intellectual property matters and not only, including at the European Patent Office and European Space Agency.

More information can be found here.

Let’s wish a lot of success to Mr Archambeau in his new role.

Canada Joins the Hague System

canada-1157521_960_720WIPO informs about the accession of Canada to the Hague Agreement for international registration of industrial designs. This makes Canada the 55th member state. The agreement will come into force for the country on 05.11.2018.

As it is well-known the Hague Agreement gives an opportunity for an easier filing of international applications for designs.

The concrete accession is one more step by Canada to facilitate all international applicants of intellectual property after the accession to the Madrid Protocol for international protection of trademarks.

Designs, novelty and a General Court decision

The General Court of the EU ruled in Case T‑651/16, Crocs, Inc. v EUIPO, Gifi Diffusion. This case concerns a registered EU design 257001-0001 by Western Brands LLC on 22.11.2004 with claimed priority based on a US design registered on 28.05.2004.

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This EU design after that was transferred to Crocs. In 2013, the French-based company Gifi Diffusion filed an application for a declaration of invalidity of the design based on a lack of novelty.

As it is known, one EU design can receive protection only in the case that it is novel and has individual character.

EUIPO took a decision for invalidation of the design, which decision was confirmed by the General Court.

The reason for this was that information for the design was available in 2003 through the Corcs’ website, it was displayed on an exhibition in Florida and was available for sale.

Corcs argued that such information wasn’t accessible in EU at that time, but the Court dismissed it because there was no evidence that the Corcs’website wasn’t accessible in EU.

This case is indicative of the need for a good intellectual property planning. In the case of industrial designs and inventions, this is crucial because if these IP assets are not new, for example, they cannot be protected. Due to this, all information regarding them has to be managed very carefully in order to fulfill the respective legal requirements.