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In 2003, Europe revamped its design laws to establish parallel registered and unregistered design rights. Although many manufacturers have been able to avail themselves of both types of design rights, neither avenue is free of traps for the unwary. Indeed, both European registered community design (RCD) protection, which is obtained via registration with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), and unregistered community design (UCD) protection, which is obtained via disclosure of a design in a European Community member state, operate such that if certain filings and disclosures are not made and timed properly, potential design rights may be lost or otherwise negatively affected.

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