Notice of 1 April 2020

concerning the Common Communication of the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and of the national offices on the common practice for assessing disclosure of designs on the Internet

Within the context of the convergence programme of the EUIPO and the national offices, a common practice and common guidelines for assessing disclosure of designs on the Internet have been developed as well as recommendations thereof (hereinafter "common practice"). These were published in a Common Communication on 1 April 2020.

The common practice lists criteria for assessing disclosure of designs on the Internet and provides recommendations on the following aspects:

  • possible sources of design disclosure on the Internet;
  • types of evidence used for proving disclosure on the Internet;
  • different means for establishing the date of disclosure;
  • the exceptions to the availability of designs on the Internet.

The common practice is intended to be applicable irrespective of the specific proceedings (e.g. ex officio examination of novelty, invalidity proceedings) or the status of the design (i.e. registered or unregistered). Therefore, it might also serve as guidance for designers or other right holders when disclosing their designs on the Internet or proving such disclosure.

The common practice and guidelines of the Communication will be implemented by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in design invalidity proceedings as of 1 April 2020.

Contents and results of the project are available in the pdf-Datei Common Communication (3,95 MB).

Last updated: 1 April 2020