Design registration schemes underway

Designers will be able to register their designs within the European Community and worldwide with the introduction of two new registration systems expected to be settled this year.

The European Parliament is expected to agree upon a scheme for design registration through its Alicante office, where one application will cover the whole European Community. The regulation, to protect two- and three-dimensional design, will take until mid-1998 to come into force, predicts Geoffrey Adams, design protection adviser to the Chartered Society of Designers.

The Hague Agreement for global registration of design, which has been under negotiation for about four years, is expected to be finalised by the end of this year, says Adams. “It will be an immense advantage to companies operating in lots of countries.”

These two systems will be similar to the two international trademark systems which came into force this month. Brand owners can now apply for Community Trade Marks through the European Community trademarks office in Alicante.

Meanwhile, the World Intellectual Property Organisation now operates an international trade-mark system. Both systems allow brand owners to register in several countries at the same time.

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