DesignEuropa Awards: a Significant Recognition for Designers

Authors: Violeta Sutkiene, Associated Partner, Head of the Trademark and Design Division at METIDA, Aivija Zilione, Senior Trademark and Design Consultant at METIDA

designeuropa-awards-11Registered Community Design (RCD) celebrates its 13th anniversary. During this period, the European Union Intellectual Property Office has received nearly a million applications for design registration. To celebrate registered Community designs and honour their talented authors, this year the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) holds the DesignEuropa Awards. The aim of these awards is to present companies and designers who have introduced exceptional works and registered them as Community designs.

The entry and nomination period was from 1 February 2016 to 15 July 2016. The entries submitted will be shortlisted in September, rejecting less suitable ones. The jury will nominate four finalists in each category. A list of these finalists will be published on 17 October and the winners will be announced at the official awards ceremony in Milan, on 30 November 2016. The DesignEuropa Awards categories are:

(1) the Industry Award: companies which have more than 50 employees and over €10 million in turnover;
(2) the Small and Emerging Companies Award: RCDs owned by companies which comply with one of the following conditions:
 fewer than 50 employees and less than €10 million turnover;
 companies established on or after 1 January 2013;
(3) the Lifetime Achievement Award.

This category is reserved for individual designers with a significant body of work of aesthetic value, created over the course of a career, which has also had a demonstrable impact on the marketplace. Nominees in this category must currently use or have used the RCD system during their professional careers.

The competition is open to any natural or legal entity (either individually or as a team), provided that they own a valid registered Community design that is marketed and sold in any country. Entries may be submitted either on the candidate’s own initiative or by any other person, organisation or institution. Candidates can submit up to five entries (one registered Community design per entry), provided that each design has been designed by a different designer or by a team of designers with at least one different member. All designs submitted must be valid design at the time of sending the application, with no pending invalidity proceedings. Finalist designs must retain their validity throughout the selection and award period. Designs entered for the competition must be marketed by the owner of the registered Community design or a licensee.

Designs will be judged on the following criteria:

 1) aesthetic value and visual appeal;
 2) demonstrable impact on the market;
 3) sound marketing and management of design and other intellectual property rights.

Entries will be evaluated by the jury nominated by the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The jury consists of 16 members drawn from the fields of design, business and intellectual property rights. They are all recognised leaders in their respective areas of specialisation. The jury may nominate up to four finalists in each category. A list of these finalists will be published on the official competition website. Finalists will be invited to the DesignEuropa Awards ceremony. The winner of each category will receive a prestigious DesignEuropa Awards trophy.

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