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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release29 April 2021Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commission seeks public opinion on protection of industrial designs and EU-wide geographical indications for products

The first public consultation refers to industrial design protection, that is to the rights which protect the appearance of a product resulting from its attributes such as shape, colours or materials.

The public consultation seeks to obtain the views of all those affected by design protection in Europe on selected issues, such as whether rules on spare parts protection should be changed, as well as potential policy options in view of the review of the Community Design Regulation (6/2002) and the Directive on the legal protection of designs (98/71/EC).

The review of the rules follows an exhaustive evaluation of the EU legislation on design protection, which was supported by a comprehensive public consultation and two major economic and legal studies. The evaluation indicated that the rules are working well. There are, however, certain shortcomings that need to be addressed to modernise the legal framework and make it fit for the digital age.

The second public consultation refers to EU-wide protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products (i.e. handicrafts and industrial goods). Geographical indications are names like Solingen knives, Herend Porcelain, which identify a product as originating from a specific place from which their peculiar characteristics derive. For such products, the Commission intends to run a thorough assessment of the impact of the potential costs and benefits of creating an efficient and transparent EU geographical indication protection system. The feedback received to the inception impact assessment is complemented by two comprehensive legal and economic studies. The public consultation aims to capture more detailed views of all relevant stakeholders on the problems related to, among others, the existing legal protection of authentic geographically-rooted non-agricultural products within the internal market; the benefits and risks of EU action; and the available policy options, including the control and enforcement of a future EU-protection system for such products.

Both public consultations will remain open until 22 July 2021 included.