Application routes

What are my options for applying?
Many companies start by filing a national design application, but you also have the option of filing a design application with the European office for trademarks and designs, OHIM, and with WIPO, which is the international office for design registrations.

The Design Cost Benefit Guide is based on three application routes. The three application routes are drawn up on the basis of the options that Danish companies primarily use when they want to register their designs. Therefore, it is important that you carefully consider which application route is relevant for you and your business - possibly in consultation with a professional consultant.

Application process 1: National application (DK application here)
If you want to get a design registration in your national country, you can file a national design application. Then, from the date you filed the national application, you have six months to file design applications in the other countries, if you want to use the priority date of the national application. Priority means that your extended application will achieve protection from the date it was filed as a national application.

Application process 1a: National application (DK application here) - with deferred publication
If you want to get a design registration in your national country, you can file a national design application. If you want the publication of your registration to be deferred, it must be stated in the application. Deferment of publication can be made for up to six months after the date of application.

From the filing date of the national application, you have six months in which to file design applications in the other countries, if you want to use the priority of the national application. Priority means that your extended application will achieve protection from the date it was filed as a national application.

Application process 2: Community application (EU)
If you want to get a design registration in a number of European countries, you have the option of filing a community application directly with the EU authority for trademarks and designs, OHIM.

Application process 2a: Community application (EU) - with deferred publication
If you want to get a design registration in a number of European countries, you have the option of filing a community application directly with the EU authority for trademarks and designs, OHIM. If you want the publication of your registration to be deferred, it must be stated in the application. Deferment of publication can be made for up to 30 months after the date of application.

Application process 3: International application (GA)
If you want to get your trademark registered in many countries, through the Geneva Convention you have the option of obtaining protection of your design in several countries, both inside and outside Europe. You only need to file one design application directly with WIPO, who handle the international design. With this application you can apply for protection in the 59 countries that have acceded to the Geneva Convention.

Application process 3a: International application (GA) - with deferred publication
If you want to get your trademark registered in many countries, through the Geneva Convention you have the option of obtaining protection of your design in several countries, both inside and outside Europe. You only need to file one design application directly with WIPO, who handle the international design. With this application you can apply for protection in the 59 countries that have acceded to the Geneva Convention. If you want the publication of your registration to be deferred, it must be stated in the application. Deferment of publication can be made in the 6 to 30 months after the date of application depending on which countries you choose to defer publication in.

Systems
OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market)
It is possible to register your design in all of the EU with only one application. You can choose to apply directly with the EU authority for trademarks and design, OHIM, or you can choose to file your application with the appropriate national authority. You can read more about the protection of designs in the EU here.

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
You can register your design in a number of countries all over the world on the basis of one application. This is done through the Geneva Convention under WIPO. You can choose to apply directly with OHIM, or you can choose to file your application with the appropriate national authority.

Some countries have not acceded to the Geneva Convention, e.g. USA and China. This means that if you want to have your design registered in China, for example, it will be necessary to file an application with China's design authority. So far, 59 countries/intergovernmental organisations have acceded to the Geneva Convention. You can see a list of which countries have acceded to the Geneva Convention here.