The European Commission has just published the Report on the evaluation of EU legislation on design protection.
The purpose of this study is to analyse to what extent the EU legislation on design protection has achieved its objectives in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, coherence and EU added value.
The evaluation shows that the objectives pursued by the EU design legislation continue to be highly relevant. The success of the Community design system and the rising importance companies give to protecting their designs is proved with the steady increase in the number of design applications filed before the EUIPO year after year.
However, the evaluation revealed some relevant shortcomings that need to be addressed to make the system more accessible and efficient for industries, SMEs and individual designers. These shortcomings include in particular lack of clarity and robustness on the certain key elements of design protection (subject matter, scope of rights and limitations), outdated or overly complicated procedures, inappropriate fee levels and fee structure, lack of coherence of the procedural rules and incomplete single market for spare parts.
This is the first step of a possible reform of the system, the aim of which would be to enhancing the legal framework in order to better support the digital and green transition of EU industry underway.