- What is the community model
- How to file a Community model application
- The procedure of registration
- The appeals against the decisions of the office
- Withdrawal and limitation of the application
- Model Assignation
The Community model is a single title in the sense that it can be registered, assigned, withdrawn, declared null or expired and its use can be banned only for the whole Community and not for single states.
Legitimated for the registration of a Community model are the natural persons having citizenship or domicile in a member state, the legal persons having their registered office or a stable organization in a member state and also the natural or legal persons having citizenship, domicile, registered office or a stable organization in one of the states adherent to the Paris Convention or to the Agreement that institutes the World Trade Organization (GATT). This system of registration coexists with the system of registration of national and international models according to The Hague agreement.
Before filing a model, it is necessary to choose how to file it. If you have not done it yet, we suggest you read the section Registering a model, which gives useful advice on the matter.
Once the preliminary analysis has been done carefully and, as it is always advised, with the help of an expert consultant in the field, the filing of the application for registration can be done.
The application for registration of the Community model can be filed with the European Union Intellectual Propriety Office (EUIPO) that has its head office in Alicante (Spain).
To file an application for registration it is necessary to fill in a specific form that is downloadable also from the Internet in which the information on the applicant, who will become the holder of the model, the title of the model and the indication of the class of goods to which the model belongs on the basis of the Locarno Classification have to be indicated, paying attention to check the edition in force at the moment of the filing of the application.
One or more samples of the model will have to be attached to the application, depending on whether it is a single or a multiple model. Of each model more than one view should be filed (plan, lateral, axonometric).
The filling in and the sending of the application for registration of a Community model may seem simple but the difficulty is not lie in the procedure but in the efficacy of the registration.
Once the application for registration has been filed, an application number and date are obtained. From that date starts the examination of the file, which is basically formal and technical. The EUIPO does not do any search to evaluate if the modelis new and has individual character.
For designs, unlike trademarks, no opposition phase is foreseen, therefore models are often granted very quickly.
The model has an initial duration of 5 years that start from the filing date but can be renewed every five years by paying a specific fee and postponing its duration up to a maximum of 25 years.
The appeal will have to be adequately motivated in facts and in law, it has to be done by anattorney expert in the field with solid basis.
Against the decisions of the Appeals Commission appealcan be filed with the First Instance Tribunal and then with the Supreme Court.
Given the nature and the difficulty of the procedure it is necessary to be represented by an expert in the subject.
It may be necessary to withdraw or limit the model, for example, when there is a conflict with a third party that claims pre-existing rights or when it has been kept in secret state and the publication thereof wants to be avoided.
An amendment not just allowed but due is that relative to the change of address of the holder of the model.
Changes in the registry, withdrawals and limitations have to be communicated to the office by filing a specific petition for recordal.
In the first case, it is something analogous to a sale, by which the model changes “owner”; in the second case, it is a sort of “rent” with which the use to third parties is granted.
The model assignment contracts are very delicate. It is necessary in fact to have a wide knowledge of the model that is being sold, but above all purchasing, therefore a technical analysis is appropriate for checking that the model is alive, that there are no potential or real conflicts, that there are no co-existence agreements and the like. All that is obtained by making the model undergo an accurate analysis (the so-called due diligence) without which there is the risk of purchasing an “empty box”. Another relevant aspect is that of the value of the model, something that is not easy to assess without the help of an expert.
The assignment, or license, of a model has to be recorded with the EUIPO with a specific petition for recordal. The recordal is necessary for the effectiveness in front of third parties and above all to safeguard the acquiring or licensee party.