Chinese scooter lethal for Multimox - novelty European Union designs

Many companies register the design of new products in the EU with a Community Design. This allows counterfeiting to be tackled easily and the company maintains a monopoly on this design. However not every design can be claimed just like that. The design must be novel and have its own character (something creative). However, this requirement of novelty applies worldwide and the authorities in the EU do not actively check this. So the applicant should always check first with the design team (or the manufacturer) if the design is actually new. If this is not the case, third parties can easily cancel the rights.

Multimox registers the design of its scooter in 2006 as a Community Design. Competitor Asian Gear is about to start selling a similar scooter, so it starts a nullity procedure against the CDR claiming that the design is not novel, because in 2005 a similar model was registered in China. But could a company have been aware of this in this pre-internet period?

Yes, even back then design registrations could be checked via a trademark agency. This requirement of novelty applies worldwide, so the fact that the company has no registration in the EU is irrelevant. An older Chinese registered design is sufficient. The overall impression of both scooters is the same. Consequence: the design rights have been canceled and Asian Gear can start trading an alternative product. (Soure image EUIPO)



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