Public consultation on EU reform package on industrial designs

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking the views of stakeholders and interested parties on a proposal for a reform package on industrial designs, consisting of a Directive (recast) of the European Parliament and of the Council to approximate the laws of the member states relating to industrial designs, and a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 on Community Designs.

The design of a product is often the main reason that consumers choose it over others. Industrial design rights protect the appearance of a product, which results from attributes such as its shape, colours or materials. The EU has harmonised industrial design protection across EU countries and introduced the Community design that offers unitary protection across the EU through a single procedure.

The Designs Directive and Community Design Regulation, originally created twenty years ago, are currently being revised. The revision aims to ensure that design protection is fit for purpose in the digital age and it is more accessible and efficient for individual designers, SMEs and design intensive industries in terms of lower costs and complexity, increased speed, greater predictability and legal certainty. 

Modernisation of the legislation on design protection 

The European Commission adopted two (package) proposals for a revised Regulation and Directive on 28 November 2022 which, inter alia, aspire to:

  • modernise existing provisions to clarify rights in terms of scope and limitations
  • simplify and streamline the process of registering designs in the EU
  • adjust and optimise the level and structure of payable fees
  • harmonise procedures and ensure they complement national design systems
  • allow the reproduction of original designs for repair purposes of complex products (such as cars) with an EU-wide "repair clause”

The proposals follow the Intellectual Property Action Plan, adopted in November 2020, which aims to revise the EU legislation on design protection. It reflects calls from stakeholders, the Council and the European Parliament requesting the modernisation of the legislation, while aiming to build on results of a comprehensive evaluation of the EU design legislation reform. 


Respondents are requested to make their submissions by email to

Closing date 

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Friday, 24 February 2023.

Topics: Intellectual Property