IP Cases & Articles

EUIPO design focus - trends from 2010 to 2019

The EUIPO recently released its “EUIPO Design Focus – 2010 to 2019 Evolution”. The report focusses on the successful progress in relation to registered Community designs (RCDs). In the report the EUIPO identifies key figures and trends in the field of RCDs in relation to direct filings, emphasising the increasing importance of RCDs for businesses worldwide over the last decade.

For those who do not have time to read the full report, though we highly recommend the read, there is a summary of key points below:

RCD filings: global filing volumes and countries

Between 2010 and 2019 there have been more than 988,000 individual design filings. The forecast for 2020 predicts a total number of individual design filings of 1.1 million between 2010 and 2020.

Almost 72% of direct RCD filings originate from within the EU, headed by Germany. The three top non-EU countries filings originate from are the United States, China and Japan representing about 2/3 of all non-EU direct filings. Thereby, China increased its share by about 12% since 2010 and filings have grown by over 890% compared to 2010.

RCD filings: global direct filing applicants

The top 10 direct RCD filers come from “design intensive industries and commercial sectors such as: clothing, footwear, apparel and accessories; consumer electronic goods; home appliances; lighting apparatus and fixtures” and account for 5.9% of all direct RCD filings. These are headed (from first to fifth place) Rieker Schuh, Nike, Robert Bosch, Pierre Balmain and Samsung Electronics.

RCD filings: global direct filing classes

Direct RCD filings between 2010 and 2019 included over 900,000 associated classes of the Locarno Classification, headed by Class 6 (Furnishing) and followed by Class 2 (Articles of clothing and haberdashery); Class 6 and Class 2 both having more than 90,000 filings. This is followed by Class 14 (Recording, telecommunication or data processing).

Examination of RCD filings: average registration and deficiency rate

The average registration rate of examined direct RCD filings was over 95%. The average deficiency rate was at over 22%, of which the vast majority were corrected.

Examination of RCD filings: refusals

Refusal decisions were hardly appealed, the appeal rate to the Board of Appeal being at less than 1% of the refusals.

RCD registrations: timeliness

The EUIPO improved its timeliness by over 66% and the average time for a straight-through RCD from filing to registration was lowered from 12 working days in 2010 to 4 working days in 2019.

RCD registrations: global direct registration owners

These are for the most part identical with the list of top 10 applicants. Of these top ten, which make up over 5% of overall direct registrations, enterprises based in the EU account for over 40%. If including Swiss-based firm Rieker Schuh, the European share is even over 60%.

Furthermore, for some owners the EUIPO has seen substantial growth in direct RCD registrations, such as an over 900% growth in registrations for Apple between 2010 and 2019 and over 400% growth in the same period for Philips.

Publication of RCD registrations

Between 2010 to 2019 approximately nine out of ten RCD applications were immediately published, i.e. publication was not deferred.

RCD invalidities

Over 3,700 invalidity proceedings were filed during the period of 2010 and 2019 encountering an annual growth rate of over 20%; English being the predominant language of the proceedings (on average over 60%) followed by German (on average ober 18%). More than 85% of invalidity actions were based on the grounds of lack of novelty and individual character of the attacked design. On average over 65% of invalidities were confirmed and about 36% of RCD invalidity decisions are appealed annually.

RCD renewals

On average, over 50% if the RCDs are renewed after the first five years and approx. 60% are further renewed after ten years in force.

RCDs in force

As of 01 January 2020, there are over 800,000 RCDs in force.

EUIPO Design Focus report

2010 to 2019 evolution.

Read more
Design Book European Design Law
Design Book European Design Law
Guide Introduction to registered designs
Guide Introduction to registered designs