13 November 2006
A short guide for designers on how to apply for European Community Design Protection with OHIM
A short guide for designers on how to apply for European Community Design Protection with OHIM

How to file an application for registration with OHIM - the European Union's official body for the protection of trade marks and designs within the EU.

All you need to do is:

1) Complete an application form
Simply download and complete the application form on OHIM's website(www.oami.eu.int) and send it to our office in Alicante. Or, file online on our e-filing page which allows you to complete the form and attach JPEG images before sending your application directly to us. This is the fastest way of filing. Step-by-step instructions are provided online at http://oami.eu.int/en/design/efentry.htm

2) Decide on a single or multiple application
The same application form can be used for both single and multiple applications.

A single application is a request to register one design, irrespective of the number of drawings or photos you include (see no. 3 below). With a multiple application, you can register several designs of the same nature (i.e. they must all be from the same class of products, such as 'packaging'). There is no upper limit to the number of designs.

3) Attach images
The application must include clear 'representations' of your design. These can be photographs or drawings. You can submit up to seven for each design, bearing in mind the following:

- You can paste paper copies of the representations or print them directly onto page 3 of the form (you can make copies of page 3 for this purpose)
- Use one sheet per image.
- Number the images.
- Ideally, they should be 8cm x 16cm.
- Use drawings of a professional quality or photographs without symbols (arrows, letters, etc.
- Even if several designs in a multiple application look identical, you still need to include a representation of each one.
- Versions of the same object with different colours or effects are considered as different designs. You will have to pay a higher fee which will vary according to the number of designs you include.

4) Indicate the appropriate product
Your application must also include an indication of the type of product you have designed (e.g. 'table' or 'shoe'). It will help if you choose from the EUROLOCARNO list of products.

There are 88,000 multilingual terms in the Eurolocarno database. You can search online to find the term which corresponds most closely to the product you are looking for.

You do not have to use this system, but if you don't, we will have to send the terms you use for translation and this will take time. Using EUROLOCARNO terms can save up to a month in the registration and publication procedure.

5) Pay a fee
Fees must be paid in Euro when you file the application. They are paid per design (not per number of photographs or drawings included in the application). One design in an application will cost 350 euros but there is a scale of charges so that each subsequent design in a multiple application will be cheaper. A fee calculator is available online.

6) Think about professional representation
If you live or have a viable business in the European Community, you do not need to have a professional representative. If you are not based in the EU, you can file your application yourself, but any subsequent communication with us will have to be through a representative. The answers to the most frequently asked questions on this subject can be found online.

7) Confirm or waive your right to be named as designer
If you do not make the application yourself (e.g. it could be filed by a manufacturer) you, your team or company, can be named as designer on the form. You may have waived the right to be named, in which case the applicant will indicate this by ticking the appropriate box on the application form.

8) Sit back and wait for the result
Within three months, if everything is in order, you will be informed that your design has been registered and is soon to be published in the online official journal 'The Community Designs Bulletin'. This is issued in electronic format only, as a multilingual edition in all the official languages of the European Union. You can, if you wish, delay publication for up to 30 months: your creations will then be kept confidential until you are ready to disclose them. You may even choose not to publish after all and your registration will then lapse after the 30 months.

Since July 2005, it has been possible to consult all available and non-confidential Community design data online.

For further information, please contact:
Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM)