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What We Do

Industrial Designs Consultations

Review of EU rules on industrial design (Design Regulation and Design Directive)

Design rights protect the appearance of a product, which results from attributes such as its shape, colours or materials, from unauthorised use.

The European Commission has opened two feedback periods for the updating of EU rules on design protection.

This initiative aims to;

  • Modernise, clarify and strengthen design protection
  • Make design protection more accessible and affordable across the EU
  • Ensure EU and national rules governing design protection are more compatible
  • Further align EU rules on design protection for repair spare parts

The EU Commission will summarise the input received in a synopsis report explaining how the input will be taken on board and, if applicable, why certain suggestions can't be taken up. Feedback received will be published on its website.

Both of the feedback periods will close on 12 January 2021.

Access the feedback initiatives:

Commission’s evaluation report in relation to EU legislation on Design Protection

The Commission has concluded an evaluation of EU legislation on design protection. The results presented in the evaluation report, published on 6 November 2020, show that EU legislation on designs works well overall and that it is still broadly fit for purpose. However, the evaluation revealed a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed to make the legal framework fit to support the digital and green transition of EU industry, and to become substantially more accessible and efficient for industries, SMEs and individual designers. These shortcomings include in particular a lack of clarity and robustness of certain key elements of design protection (subject matter, scope of rights and limitations), outdated or overly complicated procedures, inappropriate fee levels and fee structure, lack of coherence of the procedural rules and an incomplete single market for spare parts.

The purpose of the evaluation is to analyse to what extent the current EU legislation on design protection has achieved its objectives in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, coherence and EU added value.  It also provides clear indications of the degree to which that legislation is still considered to be fit for purpose.

The evaluation provides a solid evidence base, allowing to draw conclusions on the impacts of the original objectives and the need for improvements, modernisation and streamlining. Eventually, it may feed into an impact assessment study for a possible amendment of the Directive and the Regulation and/or other targeted initiatives.