1st May 2017
May 2017, Brussels
To register a design it is necessary to cite a product indication that describes the type of goods to which the design applies. Over the years different practices in relation to this have developed between different IP offices.
With the ambition of harmonising product indications for designs, the EUIPO worked together with 24 participating EU IP Offices, 4 non-EU IP Offices, 2 User Associations, and WIPO to create a product indications database.
The database contains about 15,000 product indications following the Locarno Classification structure, but also taking into account other classes accepted by national offices. It comes with an advanced search tool called DesignClass, which is freely accessible online and was launched in January 2017.
If you wish to register a design, DesignClass is a helpful and user-friendly tool for identifying the most suitable product indication. It enables you to either search for a term directly or to browse through a list of classes.
DesignClass associates images with product indications, thereby enabling you to visualise the product indications and help you select the most relevant one. If you search for a classification that does not exist, the tool will suggest alternative options, if there are any. DesignClass even allows you to save relevant classifications and is available in all 23 EU languages.
The idea is that DesignClass will decrease both the risk of formal objections being raised in relation to product classifications, and the unwanted costs associated with overcoming these objections, thereby making design registrations more attractive overall.
More information, including FAQs and tutorials, can be found on the DesignClass webpage http://euipo.europa.eu/designclass/
Originally published in DesignWrites 10th Edition. Co-authored by Sylvia DeGraaf.
Domien is an associate in our Intellectual Property Group, based in Brussels. His focus is on the different aspects of IP litigation and advisory work, in relation to patents and know-how. Domien particularly enjoys advising on aesthetic design and has successfully defended clients in trademark and domain name matters.
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