Industrial design protection in the European Union
Besides industrial designs protection in the national offices of the EU Member States, there is a possibility to protect Registered Community Design. On the territory of the European Union there is a certain protection provided for unregistered Community designs, which protection is time and content limited.
Registered Community design (RCD) is valid in all EU Member States, and the registration procedure of such a design is carried out by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) with headquarters in Alicante, Spain. An RCD is valid in the European Union as a whole and it is not possible to limit the geographical scope of protection only to certain Member States.
Until the moment of accession of the Republic of Croatia to the full membership of the European Union, the nationals of the Republic of Croatia and legal entities having an effective commercial establishment in the Republic of Croatia may protect a Community Design directly with the OHIM, or under the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs (it must be indicated that protection is requested in the European union(EM)); following the accession of Croatia, it will be possible to file a RCD application through the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia.
From the moment of accession of the Republic of Croatia to the full membership of the European Union, the legal effects of all RCD applications and acquired Community designs will be automatically extended to the territory of the Republic of Croatia.