Worldwide 16 Apr 2020

How design protection is used within the EU

The European IP office EUIPO has analyzed the last 10 years of filed EU design applications. The number of applications annually increased by approximately 3,5% per year, which corresponds to an 36% overall increase during the complete 10-year period that was under review. Rieker Schuh, Nike, Bosch, Balmain and Samsung are the companies that have submitted the most design applications to the EUIPO. During the period, 84,000 companies filed 265,000 applications, which corresponds to almost 1 million individual designs (i.e. an average of 3.7 designs per application).

EUIPO is the office responsible for trademarks and design protection within the EU. Design protection in the EU is often called EU design but the correct term is Registered Community Design, RCD. In the report “EUIPO Design Focus: 2010 to 2019 Evolution”, EUIPO has analyzed filed design applications from 2010 to 2019.

Companies within the EU account for the largest proportion of applications (72%). The five largest economies in the EU, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain, account for 51% of all applications during the period. But the USA, China and Japan are also among the top 10 of countries of origin. The number of applications from China has increased substantially during the decade; corresponding to 890% during the entire period or an annual growth rate of 31%. The Top 10 of countries of origin accounts for 77% of all filed applications.

The ten companies that have filed the most design applications to EUIPO during the decade are:

Rieker Schuh:    9,088 applications (Germany)
Nike:                    6,818 applications (USA)
Bosch:                 6,181 applications (Germany)
Balmain:              6,094 applications (France)
Samsung Electronics:  5,743 applications (South Korea)
Eglo:                    3,962 applications (Austria)
Apple:                  3,753 applications (USA)
Philips:                3,471 applications (Netherlands)
BSH:                    2,658 applications (Germany)
LG Electronics: 2,496 applications (South Korea)

The above ten companies together account for 6% of applications during the period. All top companies are global leaders within the design industry such as clothing, shoes, accessories, home electronics, appliances and lighting. The most filed design classes were Furniture followed by Articles of clothing and haberdashery as well as Recording & telecommunication equipment.

Sweden is in place nine of the EU countries that have filed the most design applications with the EUIPO, however, they are not the top 10 globally. During the period, 16,269 applications were filed by Swedish actors, which represented 2,6% of all applications from the EU or 1,9% of all applications.

The full report (pdf) from EUIPO can be found here>>

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