Article 25

Grounds for invalidity

  1. A Community design may be declared invalid only in the following cases:
    (a) if the design does not correspond to the definition under Article 3(a);
    (b) if it does not fulfil the requirements of Articles 4 to 9;
    (c) if, by virtue of a court decision, the right holder is not entitled to the Community design under Article 14;
    (d) if the Community design is in conflict with a prior design which has been made available to the public after the date of filing of the application or, if a priority is claimed, the date of priority of the Community design, and which is protected from a date prior to the said date by a registered Community design or an application for such a design, or by a registered design right of a Member State, or by an application for such a right;
    (e) if a distinctive sign is used in a subsequent design, and Community law or the law of the Member State governing that sign confers on the right holder of the sign the right to prohibit such use;
    (f) if the design constitutes an unauthorised use of a work protected under the copyright law of a Member State;
    (g) if the design constitutes an improper use of any of the items listed in Article 6ter of the ‘Paris Convention’ for the Protection of Industrial Property hereafter referred to as the ‘Paris Convention’, or of badges, emblems and escutcheons other than those covered by the said Article 6ter and which are of particular public interest in a Member State.
  2. The ground provided for in paragraph (1)(c) may be invoked solely by the person who is entitled to the Community design under Article 14.
  3. The grounds provided for in paragraph (1)(d), (e) and (f) may be invoked solely by the applicant for or holder of the earlier right.
  4. The ground provided for in paragraph (1)(g) may be invoked solely by the person or entity concerned by the use.
  5. Paragraphs 3 and 4 shall be without prejudice to the freedom of Member States to provide that the grounds provided for in paragraphs 1(d) and (g) may also be invoked by the appropriate authority of the Member State in question on its own initiative.
  6. A registered Community design which has been declared invalid pursuant to paragraph (1)(b), (e), (f) or (g) may be maintained in an amended form, if in that form it complies with the requirements for protection and the identity of the design is retained. ‘Maintenance’ in an amended form may include registration accompanied by a partial disclaimer by the holder of the registered Community design or entry in the register of a court decision or a decision by the Office declaring the partial invalidity of the registered Community design.