Thoughts on recent Community Designs applications

24 June 2013

Rachel Harrison

We’ve highlighted below some recent Community Design applications which may inspire or interest you.

Shirt sleeve: Design 2178996-0001

This design seeks to protect the design of just the sleeve of the shirt. The body of the shirt is depicted with dotted lines. According to OHIM’s guidelines, dotted lines may be used either to indicate the elements for which no protection is sought or to indicate portions of the design which are not visible in that particular view, i.e. non-visible lines.
The applicant is therefore seeking to focus its protection on the sleeve design only. If granted, any shirt which has sleeves which create the same overall impression as those shown below will infringe this design, irrespective of the design of the rest of the shirt. This is a sensible way to protect key design features which might be used on other products.

Excavator: Design 2218644-0001 

Due to the nature of the vehicle, this single design seeks to protect numerous different design features (e.g. the shape of the cabin, the shape of the arm, etc). Might the designer have been better off registering each feature as a separate design, rather than altogether? If so, a competitor who copied, say, just the shape of the cabin, but not anything else, could be stopped.

Jeans: Design 2230615-0001 

Whilst the most distinctive feature of the design would appear to be the “bowed” legs, the designer has sought to protect the design of the whole garment, a pair of jeans. Accordingly, to infringe his design, a pair of jeans must copy not just the bowed legs, but also the waist section as well.

Toy train: Design 2203893-0001 

This design uses a single representation only (a maximum of 7 representations per design is permitted). As such, the design is shown from one angle only. Whilst not necessarily a problem, it will of course exclude (possibly important) features if they are not visible in this view.