Interpreting the unregistered community design


Aurélia Marie

The Unregistered Community Design (UCD) generated apparently little interest when it was created by the Council Regulation (CE) 6/2002 of December 12, 2001 on Community Designs.

Nevertheless, it is on the basis of these IP rights that the Bundesgerichtshof (the German Federal Court of Justice) asked for a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which will have the opportunity, for the first time, to interpret the conditions of protection of these UCDs (C-479/12).

Indeed, since March 6, 2002, the date of entry into force of the regulation, a creator who makes available a design to the public for the first time can benefit from the rights provided for UCDs by the regulation and enjoy protection for three years against copy from the date of first disclosure.

In application of these rules, a German company A, which was selling a design for garden furniture created by its manager in Germany, and had disclosed it to German traders, sued a German competitor B, which had commercialised in the EU a copy made in China of this design. Company A obtained a decision prohibiting company B from selling the copy.

unregistered community design, UCD, CJEU, disclosure