Time.lex CVBA, Spark Legal Network and Consultancy Ltd, Queen Mary University of London, and Indiville were commissioned to perform a legal review of industrial design protection in Europe. This legal study is part of a wider review of European Design in Europe. Within that context, the Economic Review of Industrial Design in Europe, conducted by Europe Economics was published early in 2015. The legal study and the economic study will collectively feed into an evaluation of the European industrial design protection system, the results of which should be known by the end of 2016.
The general purpose of the study was to analyse whether the existing EU legal framework for design protection contributes to the Innovation Union strategy which aims to create an innovation-friendly environment that makes it easier for ideas to be turned into products that will bring growth of the EU economy and jobs. It assesses the substantive and procedural rules concerning the Community Design Right and also national design rights, and provides a coherent assessment of the current two-layered system of design protection in the EU.
The methodology deployed involved conducting an initial layer of legal desk research, followed by two rounds of stakeholder engagement (firstly, via surveys; secondly, via interviews).