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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-your-uk-intellectual-property-abroad/protecting-your-design-abroad
Registering your design in the UK does not protect it abroad.
If you want to register your design in countries other than the UK, there are a number of ways in which you can do so.
- you can apply for a Registered Community Design (RCD) covering the whole of the European Union (EU)
- you can apply directly to most major countries of the world by making a separate application to each country in which you want protection
- you can use the Hague System to apply to a number of different countries or territories at the same time, through a single application
1.1 Using unregistered design rights
You may also be able to rely on automatic copyright and unregistered design rights in the countries concerned, for example the Unregistered Community Design right which covers the whole of the EU.
1.2 Claiming a priority date
You may be able to claim a priority date if you apply for design protection in another country, within 6 months of applying for the same design in the UK.
This means having the date on which you applied for the earlier design accepted as the date on which you filed the later application.
Priority dates are only granted in countries which have signed the Paris Convention or are members of the World Trade Organisation.
2. European design protection
If you want design protection in countries which are members of the EU, you can apply for a RCD through the Eureopean Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), based in Alicante, Spain. You can also file your application through us, but we will charge you a £15 handling fee.
Anyone can apply for a registered community design.
The fee is in two parts.
- The registration fee is:
- 230 euros for one design
- another 115 euros for each extra design up to 10
- another 50 euros for each extra design above 10
- The publication fee is:
- 120 euros for one design
- another 60 euros for each extra design up to 10
- another 30 euros for each extra design above 10
You can ask EUIPO to delay or ‘defer’ publication by paying the following fees instead of the publication fee, but you must pay them when you apply.
- 40 euros for one design
- another 20 euros for each extra design up to 10
- another 10 euros for each extra design above 10
If you do this, you will still have to pay the publication fee when you ask EUIPO to publish your application.
You must pay all these fees in euros. You cannot pay in any other currency.
You must send all fees, apart from the UK handling fee, straight to EUIPO.
2.2 How to apply for a registered community design
You can fill in an online application form on the EUIPO website, or print the form and then fill it in.
You can create your own form on a computer but you must make sure that the form is in the same format and gives the same information as the official form.
Or you can fill in a printed form which you can get from us or from EUIPO.
2.3 Filing your registered community design application through us
You can take or send your application to us at one of the following addresses.
Intellectual Property Office
Intellectual Property Office
4 Abbey Orchard Street
Mark your envelope ‘For the attention of the EUIPO Application Unit’.
You should send only:
- your application form
- the handling fee sheet (form FS3)
- the handling fee of £15
You can pay the £15 handling fee:
- by cheque made payable to ‘Intellectual Property Office’
- by credit or debit card if you fill in the details on the fee sheet
- straight from your UK Patent Office deposit account
- by bank transfer straight to our account at Barclays Bank (sort code 20-18-15, account number 80531766)
- Send your application by courier to Alicante
- Send you a receipt confirming
- when we received your application
- your reference
- how many pages of attachments we received
- how many pages we sent to EUIPO
- that we have received your handling fee
EUIPO will examine your application and will contact you or your representative if there are any problems with it.
2.4 Professional representation before EUIPO
Anyone can file a registered community design application at EUIPO. However, in order to act in proceedings before EUIPO you must either have full legal qualifications, (solicitors, lawyers, barristers or advocates automatically qualify) or be included on EUIPO’s list of professional representatives.
Design attorneys need to be entered on the list of professional representatives before they can act before EUIPO. In order to do so, you must apply for certification from us.
Who can we certify?
Design attorneys who are EU nationals, with a place of business in the UK. Such attorneys will be qualified to act before us either by virtue of:
- their professional qualification (attorneys who are on the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys or Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys or Joint Examinations Boards list)
- their practical experience (attorneys who are not on the list but have habitually practiced before us for at least five years). They will have to provide evidence of their work before the office such as, a reference from their employer/senior partner or a list of applications that they have worked on throughout the qualifying period
Please send us
- a typed version of the application and certification form
- copies of your professional qualifications (if applicable)
- evidence of habitual practice (if applicable)
Send entitled ‘Professional Representation before EUIPO’ to the following address;
Intellectual Property Office
We will check that your application complies with EUIPO’s criteria and inform you if there are any problems.
We will notify you when we have certified your application and have passed it to EUIPO. They will then confirm with you that you are qualified to act before them.
3. International design protection
The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs allows you to simultaneously apply for a design in many different countries or territories, through a single application to the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
An application under the Hague System will cover the UK if the EU is selected.