Designs may be protected throughout the Community by way of the Unregistered Community Design (UCD) or the Registered Community Design (RCD). The UCD provides protection for 3 years commencing on the date the design was first made available to the public in the EU. This protection ONLY extends to the copying of the design.
The RCD is achieved with a single application to OHIM or to a national IP office, and results in Community wide protection for the design (not just the article bearing the design) for a maximum of 25 years. Any number of designs may be included in one ‘multiple’ application provided they all belong to the same ‘class’ (This does not apply to ornamentation).
The cost of filing and prosecuting a RCD through to registration is much less expensive than seeking individual national protection where protection is desired in several member states of the EU.
Member States of the European Union
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Total 28 States