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The legal protection of designs

Directive 98/71 on the legal protection of designs has recently been published in the Official Journal, giving Member States two years to establish the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary for compliance. The legislation grants protection for designs for o...
Directive 98/71 on the legal protection of designs has recently been published in the Official Journal, giving Member States two years to establish the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary for compliance. The legislation grants protection for designs for one or more periods of five years from the date of filing the application, which may be extended for up to a total term of 25 years.

The legislation applies to design rights registered with the central industrial property offices of the Member States and those registered at the Benelux Design Office, as well as those registered under international arrangements which have effect in the Member States.

In the absence of harmonised copyright laws in the EU, this new legislation is seen as important to establish specific registered design protection law, whilst leaving Member States free to establish the extent of copyright protection and the conditions under which protection is conferred. It also responds to the need to give a unitary definition to design, and the novelty and individual character requirements with which registered design rights must comply.

Source: Official Journal of the European Communities
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