When applying for design protection abroad, the applicant must determine which countries are significant in terms of the applicant’s operations. The selection of target countries should primarily be based on the applicant’s market areas and manufacturing countries, but also on the market areas and production locations of competitors. As a rule, the applicant must apply for protection in each target country through its national application procedure. These proceedings are simplified by the Community model (see Community designs), which makes it possible to apply for protection in the entire area of the European Union by submitting just one application.
The date of filing the first application marks the beginning of what is known as the priority period. During this period, the applicant can claim a priority right for subsequent applications filed in other countries. In these cases, the novelty of the design will be evaluated based on the date of filing the first application. The priority period is six months.
If an applicant intends to claim a priority right, the applicant must file national applications in other countries within six months from the date of filing the first application. The prices, requirements, procedures and processing times vary greatly by country. Our design experts will be glad to provide more detailed information on issues related to design applications.
Validity of designs
The validity of designs varies by country. In the European Union, however, laws pertaining to design rights have been harmonised in terms of protection periods. For this reason, national designs can be valid for a maximum of 25 years in all member states. Outside the European Union, protection periods vary to a high degree, and designs are typically valid for 10 to 15 years.