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The European Commission has just published the Report on the evaluation of EU legislation on design protection.

The purpose of this study is to analyse to what extent the EU legislation on design protection has achieved its objectives in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, coherence and EU added value. It aims to assess to what extent the legislation is still fit for purpose, in particular in view of the digital transformation underway.

The evaluation shows that the objectives pursued by the EU design legislation continue to be highly relevant. In this regard, the legislation works well and it is still broadly fit for purpose. However, the document shows some shortcomings that need to be addressed, including the lack of clarity and robustness of key elements of design protection (subject matters, scope of rights and limitations), inappropriate fee levels and structure, outdated or overly complicated procedures, lack of coherence of the procedural rules and an incomplete single market for spare parts. The aim would be enhancing the legal framework in order to better support the digital and green transition of EU industry, make it more accessible and efficient for industries, SMEs and individual designers.

The evaluation, launched in 2014, included a comprehensive legal and economic assessment, supported by a series of studies: the Economic review of industrial design in Europe (2015), the Legal review on design protection in Europe (2016) and the Intellectual property implications of the development of industrial 3D printing (2020).


ECTA, with the assistance of highly skilled members of the ECTA Design Committee, submitted input during the consultation process, provided position papers (including Joint Statement on the Legal Review on Industrial Design Protection in Europe as well as individual submissions such as Brief Report on 3D Printing and comments to a related EC Study, and others), organised events and round tables on design related topics and continues to follow and contribute to the ongoing discussion on this important issue.

In this regard, do not miss the upcoming ECTA Webinar on 4 December 2020, dedicated to the Design reform and the issue of 3D printing and virtual printing! To REGISTER, please click here.

Also, if you are interested in becoming a member of our Design Committee, don’t forget to submit your application in January 2021 when the General Committee Elections will be launched for the new Committee term of 2 years.

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