The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
When the registered Community design arrived on the World IP stage as a fledgling design right on 1 April 2003, it was very much touch-and-go as to whether or not the little fellow would be welcomed into the big bad world of Intellectual Property protection by the design community.
Now, ten years on, it stands proud and tall, respected globally as a fast, cost-efficient and legally sound way to protect designs in the 27-member state European Union.
And the fact that this unique right has come such a long way is worthy of celebration, and that is exactly what we are going to do on 8 and 9 April 2013 with the hosting in OHIM’s home city of Alicante of a top-level, international “10 years Community Design” conference on 8 and 9 April 2013.
Over two days in Spring, we will bring together renowned experts in the design world not only to celebrate a ten-year success story, but also to inform, educate and better understand how this unique Community right can benefit innovators and designers the world over.
Unlike the early days, when the RCD was finding its feet, we now have a substantial body of consolidated case-law to allow us to interpret more precisely how the registered Community design fits in to the IP landscape across the European Union.
Our cancellation Division has spoken, the Boards have spoken and the Courts have spoken. The RCD is now a solid right on which designers can effectively protect their creativity, and the scope of its legal protection is now much clearer after ten years in existence.
Registered Community designs are effective; they work; they are cost efficient and can be obtained in a very short period of time, and Alicante is the place to showcase this success story in April 2013.
David Stone of Simmons and Simmons, co-host of the 2013 conference, made it clear that the RCD is here to stay: “The registered Community Design has multiple advantages for designers and businesses alike: it is quick and easy to register, it is cost-effective and, looking at the case-law that now lies behind it after ten years, it has become clear from a legal point of view that it offers solid and sound IP protection in the field of design innovation in the EU”.
The conference itself will offer a unique platform for networking and benchmarking for IP specialists, companies and designers alike and will serve to provide education on and to promote the RCD story.
General plenary sessions talking about the RDC in a more wide-ranging manner will be complemented with more specific, expert discussions and break-out sessions dealing with topics as varied as urban design or design in the field of gastronomy.
And for those who really want to roll their sleeves up and get down to the nitty-gritty, there will be a special session on the mysterious and enigmatic world of spare parts, where much remains to be done by legislators and national offices in the context of a much sought-after harmonisation in this area.
But the attendee list will not be limited to the design world alone. Representatives from the legal community, in-house specialists, judges and academics will share the stage with names as prestigious as international Michelin Star chef Quique Dacosta or world-famous designer Javier Mariscal.
And one highlight not to be missed will be the rare occasion to hear a panel of top IP judges quizzed on RCD issues by journalist James Nurton.
Experts from as far afield as China and the USA will also be present, with WIPO also joining the proceedings on both days.
“This is definitely something worth celebrating”, concludes David Stone, “and we look forward to seeing you all in Alicante in April next year”.