IP case law Court of Justice

Article 3 CDR

For the purposes of this Regulation:

(a) "design" means the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation;

(b) "product" means any industrial or handicraft item, including inter alia parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs;

(c) "complex product" means a product which is composed of multiple components which can be replaced permitting disassembly and re-assembly of the product.

1 preliminary ruling

Judgment of 16 Feb 2023, C-472/21 (Monz Handelsgesellschaft International)

Article 3(3) and (4) of Directive 98/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 on the legal protection of designsmust be interpreted as meaning that the requirement of ‘visibility’, laid down in that provision, that is to be met in order for a design applied to or incorporated in a product which constitutes a component part of a complex product to be eligible to benefit from the legal protection of designs, must be assessed in the light of a situation of normal use of that complex product, so that the component part concerned, once it has been incorporated into that product, remains visible during such use. To that end, the visibility of a component part of a complex product during its ‘normal use’ by the end user must be assessed from the perspective of that user as well as from the perspective of an external observer, and that normal use must cover acts performed during the principal use of a complex product as well as acts which must customarily be carried out by the end user in connection with such use, with the exception of maintenance, servicing and repair work.