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Do you have a design search that needs a great search resource? Have you ever just wondered if a certain design was out there, and wanted to look for free?
Today we’ll take a look at an interesting free search system featuring online access to information on European Community Designs.
The RCD-Online Design Search is a free database of registered Community designs (RCD) registrations, published in the Community Design Bulletin, created by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). OHIM is the European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs that are valid in all 27 countries of the EU.
How can you use RCD-Online as part of your next design search? Is it worth your time? Read on to find out!
The RCD-Online system has a horizontal menu of icons at the top of the page that indicate which options are available for each search form, hit list, and individual record. If an option isn’t currently available, the icon will become gray. The icons available in the menu include:
- Basic search form – Search by design number, owner name or ID number, filing date, Locarno class/sub-class, and indication of the product. The user can also select how results will be sorted.
- Advanced search form – Search by design number, owner name/ID, representative name/ID, designer, filing date, priority date, publication date, expiry date, Locarno class/sub-class, indication of the product, country of owner, country of priority, Vienna classification, verbal statement, and status. Various “selectors” can be used to help the user choose certain criteria (Locarno and Vienna classification selectors, country name selector). The user can also select how results will be sorted.
- Modify search – Return to the search form from the hit list to edit search criteria.
- Refine search – Add additional search criteria.
- Back to search results
- Save search results to MYPAGE (only accessible to registered users already logged on)
- Print screen
The hit list displays 20 results per page, and users can skip to the first or last page of results, move to the next page of results, or go to the bottom of the page via the navigational arrows above the hit list. The result list displays the number, name of owner, filing date, Locarno class/subclass, verbal element, indication of product, and status, as well as a thumbnail image beside each result.
When a user selects an individual record, they also have the option to page directly through the other records (instead of returning to the hit list) via the navigational arrows above the record data. The record contains separate sections pertaining to different criteria, including:
- Representation (images)
- Indication of the product
For further information, see the detailed and helpful RCD-Online Help File.
The Help File contains this warning that serves as a good reminder for everyone out there:
PLEASE NOTE: RCD-ONLINE should not be used to establish with certainty that there are no earlier conflicting rights in a given case. Furthermore, it should be understood that only published information is searchable. This means that the searchable information on deferred designs is minimal.
We also recommend that a design search would be performed to check for other possible prior rights.
Obviously, RCD-Online is but one of many tools that need to be used in a professional design search. Other systems such as Orbit.com’s Design Finder are more than worthy of use in a comprehensive search. We hope that you enjoyed our look at one option to expand your searching repertoire…thanks for reading!
Do you have any favorite design-focused searching tools? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.