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Business Law, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Litigation

The importance of respecting delays for registration of intellectual property rights

Jun 8th, 2018

By Frank M. Schlesinger

By a decision of the General Court of the European Union (“EGC”), rendered on the 14th of March, 2018, the EGC annulled the design protection for Crocs clogs.

A design or a model is considered as new if, at the date of deposit of the Application for Registration or at the date of the priority requested, no identical design or model has been divulged, meaning rendered accessible to the public; for example, by way of a publication, usage, exhibiting at a show or in any other manner.

If you create a product whose appearance is new do not display it before demanding the protection as a design and model.  If you have presented it or shown it or used it you must rapidly demand the protection within twelve (12) months of such first display or usage, failing which your registration would be null.

In the Crocs case, the EGC held that showing the clogs in an international marine show in Fort Lauderdale and putting them on sale in the United States and showing them on the internet, which is available worldwide, constituted divulging the clogs in question and, therefore, their registration was annulled.

While this decision concerns the European Union, nevertheless, the rules concerning protection of intellectual property, including acting in such a manner as to prevent your intellectual property falling into the public domain, also require vigilance in North America.

Please do not hesitate to communicate with the undersigned for any further information or help in this regard.