RCDs can be sold, licensed and renewed. Changes to registered RCDs are published in the Community Designs Bulletin.
How to stay protected
A Community design registration lasts for five years but it can be renewed four times (giving a maximum total of 25 years of protection). Every five years you will be faced with the question: do I want to renew my design? The answer depends on your IP strategy.
You have two options
Renew. If you want to stay protected, you can renew online
The renewal fee per design, whether included in a multiple registration or not, is as follows
- After 5 years - €90
- After 10 years - €120
- After 15 years - €150
- After 20 years - €180
Not to renew. If you decide not to renew your design in the EU, the rights associated with it will expire
In a multiple application you may decide to renew some of the designs only.
When to renew
It is your responsibility to make sure you observe the time limit for renewal. However, OHIM will generally inform you or your representative six months before expiry that your RCD is due for renewal. Any other person holding a right to your RCD, e.g. a licensee, will also be informed by the Office.
The renewal form should be submitted and the renewal fee must be paid within the six months preceding your RCD's expiry date. The form may be submitted right up until the last day of the month in which protection ends.
If you have failed to observe the time limit but still wish to renew your design, you can still do so for six months after the expiry date, but there is a 25% surcharge.
Every period from the first list starts and ends with a step presented in the next list.
- Registration period
- Online renewal
- Late online renewal
Renewal period starts
Last day for renewal with regular fee
Last possibility for renewal
How to renew
Your RCD should be renewed online. Remember that you cannot make alterations to your design when renewing it.
Let us know if your details change
e.g. your name or that of your company, address or contact details.
If you have not appointed a representative, we'll need to contact you direct. It is therefore crucial that you inform us of any change in your personal details. Even if you have appointed a representative, it is in your interest to keep the details concerning your business up to date. We, or a third party, may need to contact you.
There is no official time limit. The sooner you make us aware of any changes the better.
If you have a representative, inform them and they'll do the rest. You can also easily do it yourself via your online user area. Just access your user area and use the options menu to make the appropriate changes to your personal details. Alternatively, send us a fax indicating your OHIM ID number and the changes.
Changes to personal details must not affect the applicant's/owner's identity. A change in the applicant's identity is called a transfer.
Legal persons can only have one official address. In case of doubt, OHIM may make a request for evidence of the legal form or address.
When indicating your OHIM number you will not have to state all the rights that belong to you. The change will automatically apply to all of them.
Can I sell or lease my RCD?
Your RCD is an asset. Ownership can be licensed or sold. The main difference between these options is that when you sell your RCD you transfer ownership to another party permanently, whereas when you license it you retain ownership. It's like selling or renting your house. As soon as an agreement has been reached, you should let us know the details.
Licensing and transferring ownership — details
Whether or not you decide to license or transfer your RCD is up to you. All we need to be sure of is that we have correctly recorded the outcome. Here are some issues to consider:
License or transfer?
The individual designs contained in a multiple application will be dealt with as if they are independent of each other. In other words, each design contained in a multiple application can be transferred or licensed separately from the others.
|Fee||Administrative fee — €200 per design
Maximum fee of €1 000 (provided that the parties involved remain unchanged)
|Administrative fee — €200 per design
Maximum fee of € 1000 (provided that the parties involved remain unchanged)
|Geographical Scope||Your right will be transferred for the whole EU||Your rights can be licensed for specific countries in the EU|
|Time||Your right will be transferred without any time limit||You can license your right for a specific period|
As soon as an agreement has been reached between you and another party, let us know.
All you need to do is request that a transfer or licence be recorded in the register: this request is referred to as a recordal. You can file a recordal quickly and easily online via your user area.
Alternatively, a simple request by fax, signed by you and the other party, is enough. If you have appointed a single professional representative for both parties (and the latter is representative of the current owner), this representative may sign the request on your behalf. In such cases, you do not need to file a copy of the deed of transfer or licence.
What else can you do with your right?
There are also other, less common, things that you can do with your right. You will find more information within your user area, but the basics are summarised for you here
Rights in rem: this allows you to use your design as security
Surrender: this allows you to abandon the right acquired through registration
Correct your RCD: errors within the wording because of copying or obvious mistakes may be corrected. If you encounter such an error, let us know. If the error is attributable to OHIM, a fresh certificate will be issued. Corrections to the representation of the design will, as a matter of principle, be refused unless the error is attributable to OHIM