The EU Design Approach
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The EU Design Approach

A Global Appraisal

Edited by Annette Kur, Marianne Levin and Jens Schovsbo

The EU’s ‘Design Approach’ represented a unique attempt to protect industrial design and designers in and on their own terms. It has now been in place for more than a decade and this book, including contributions from leading international scholars, takes stock and attempts to find out what became of the Design Approach: Is it still observed; what has it achieved; how does it interact with other areas of the law; what became of the spare parts problem and how did the world respond to it?
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Chapter 7: The Design Approach and procedural practice – mismatch or smooth transposition?

Annette Kur


The chapter addresses the question of whether the legal objectives underlying the statutory provisions in design legislation are adequately reflected in the legal practice. Building on the case law of the General Court and the Court of Justice presented in Chapter 3, as well as on selected issues of national case law the chapter revisits the requirements for establishing the legal validity of designs as well as the operation of central notions and concepts such as the protected subject matter, the informed user and the freedom of designers. It concludes that, while some issues remain open, the overall picture is positive and only calls for few adjustments in practice, which might also be put into effect at a sub-legal level, in the framework of the convergence programme and the European Trade Mark and Design Network established on that basis.

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