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The European Designs Directive

The European Designs Directive was incorporated into UK law on 9 December 2001.

Intellectual Property Office

The European Designs Directive (Directive 98/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council 13 October 1998) harmonised the requirements for registered design protection in EU Member States.

Article 10 of the Designs Directive requires that designs should be given five-year blocks of protection from their filing date up to a maximum of 25 years. Existing registrations in force on 9 December 2001 (including any which are deemed to be in force at that date following late renewal under section 8(4) or later restoration under section 8A) were affected as follows:

Designs registered as of the date of an earlier convention application under section 14 - the next renewal date will be based on the UK filing date instead of the priority date; this may add up to 6 months to the current period of protection.

  • designs registered as of deemed filing date under section 3(4) - no effect
  • designs registered under section 4 association - the later associated design is still limited to the period of existence of the earlier design
  • designs limited to period of subsistence of copyright under section 8(5) - no longer limited. Period of protection is determined as for any other design as above

Designs registered under the Act prior to amendment by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and in force at 9 December 2001 may be renewed for a maximum of 25 years, instead of 15 years.

Renewal reminder letters will show revised renewal dates. There is no need to return registration certificates for amendment.

Published 23 August 2006