Reform of EU Design Law

30 November 2022

The crucial phase for the long-awaited revision of the EU legal framework for Designs has begun. The Design Directive and the Community Design Regulation were created twenty years ago. The European Commission has now published the drafts for a revised Directive and Regulation. The revision of the legal framework is intended to ensure that Design law is made fit for the digital age and further harmonized. In addition, the EU has set itself the task of speeding up the registration process and making the Design system more accessible and thus also more cost-effective. Specifically, the proposal provides for the following:

  • Simplification and streamlining of the procedure for EU-wide registration of a Design
  • Harmonize procedures and ensure complementarity with national regulatory systems
  • Permission to reproduce original Designs for the purpose of repairing complex products (“must-match” rule)

The reform proposals were submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for adoption. Once the proposals have been adopted, the new provisions of the Directive must be transposed into national law in the EU member states within two years. The amended Community Design Regulation will enter into force in stages (3 months – 18 months after entry into force). Further information on the legislative proposals and the drafts of the new Regulation and Directive can be found here.