Simplified design registration: a French specificity


France design law offers, in addition to the classical design registration procedure to protect the appearance of a product or part of a product for shape, texture, ornamentation or aesthetics, a simplified design registration procedure.
The simplified procedure is reserved for industries that regularly renew the shape and decoration of their products, such as the fashion industry, for example, and is therefore adapted for applicants who regularly create and renew their collections.
At the time of filing, the applicant pays the filing fee (only 39 EUR), regardless of the number of designs (up to 100 reproductions in a single filing).
When the applicant chooses to have all or part of these designs published, the applicant has to present reproductions in due form and pay the corresponding reproduction fees: 47 € per color reproduction and 23 € per black and white reproduction.
Unlike traditional filings, there is no automatic publication.
If the applicant wishes to publish his designs, in case of success for example, he will have to waive the deferment of the publication. This renunciation must be made in writing, at the latest 30 months after the filing. The models will then be published in the Official Bulletin and the applicant will then be able to benefit from all the prerogatives attached to the legislation on designs and models.
Failing this, the total or partial lapse of the deposit will be pronounced at the end of the 3-year period, and the applicant will no longer be able to benefit from the advantages attached to the registered designs. In accordance with the principle of "unity of art", the forfeited designs may then, under certain conditions, be protected by copyright.
The simplified procedure is therefore cost effective and provide an interesting alternative to conventional filing, allowing to protect only designs that meet commercial success.