Is there a single design patent application that covers the EU?
You can file a single European design patent application that covers the EU countries. If and when granted, a single registration called a Registered Community Design (RCD) would provide you with exclusive rights in all EU countries. This European design application is filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
When is the deadline to file a European design patent application based on your counterpart US application?
Assuming that you will first file a US design patent application, there are two possible deadlines for filing a EU design patent application.
6 Months From US Filing Date
Ideally, you should file your EU design patent application within 6 months from the filing date of your US design patent application, known as the priority date. By filing foreign counterpart design patent applications within 6 months, the foreign applications will get the benefit of your US priority date.
After 6 Months From US Filing Date
What if more than 6 months have passed from your priority date? You might still be able to file a European design patent application as long as you have not publicly disclosed your design. Under these circumstances, your EU design patent application will not get the benefit of your US priority date.
However, you are still eligible to apply for a European design patent because you have not yet publicly disclosed your invention. Without the benefit of your US priority date, there may be a higher risk of rejection of your EU design patent application based on other prior art disclosures of similar products.
How much does a European RCD design patent cost?
The initial filing of a European RCD design patent application may cost between $1,500 to $3,000 if based on a counterpart US application. Any rejections may lead to additional costs for responses.
Also, Registered Community Designs must be renewed as discussed below.
Do EU design patents need to be renewed?
Unlike US design patents which have no renewals, European Registered Community Designs are subject to renewal every 5 years for a maximum term of 25 years. Basically, expect taxes every five years for European design patents.
What EU countries are covered by a single RCD?
All EU member countries are covered by a single RCD registration.
Can you search EU design patents?
DESIGNview allows anyone to search Registered Community Designs.
Should you file your design patent application in the US first?
Inventions made in the USA must first be filed with the USPTO. Once the US government gives you a foreign filing license, you can then apply for foreign patents.
So here is an approach for obtaining European design patents. First, file your US design patent application before making any public disclosures. Second, file your counterpart design patent application in Europe within 6 months of your US filing date.
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