Proprietors of Community designs registered before 1 January 2021 will automatically become the proprietor of a comparable registered design in the United Kingdom and this at no additional cost. This conversion to the so-called re-registered design will take place with the retention of the application and priority date. In other words, the design proprietor will retain all his rights.
If the Community design application is still pending on 1 January 2021, its proprietor will have to take active steps in order to obtain design rights in the United Kingdom. Design proprietors who want to retain the application date or priority date of the Community design will have to apply for a UK design by 30 September 2021 at the latest. Please note! If the specifications of this application do not match those of the Community Design, the application date or priority date will not be retained. Logically, this could also affect the novelty and individual character of the UK design.
Particular attention should be paid to Community designs filed with the deferment of publication. Under the new UK legislation, such designs will be regarded as pending applications. Design proprietors who wish to avoid additional costs and administrative efforts might therefore consider disclosing their Community design at an early stage. The design proprietor should however be aware of the possible (negative) consequences of such choice. After all, disclosure can be novelty-destroying for future patents or designs. In that regard, it is important to note that the publication of a design in the United Kingdom can only be delayed for 12 months maximum. This period is calculated from the application date of the UK design. Those who wish to keep their design secret for this maximum period of time, are therefore advised to submit the UK design application as close to 30 September 2021 as possible.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about your design protection in the EU, the United Kingdom, or far beyond.