The European Court of Justices handled two important questions for designers in Karen Millen Fashions case:
1. Should design to be considered to have individual character, if it is made from features already known?

The European Court of Justice entered into a conclusion that, in order for a design to be considered to have individual character, the overall impression must be different from that produced on a user not by a combination of features taken in isolation and drawn from a number of earlier designs, but by one or more earlier designs, taken individually. In other words, the owner of an earlier design should not take a bunch of earlier designs and use them in order to challenge a new registration.

2. Is the right holder of that design obliged to prove that it has individual character or need only indicate what constitutes the individual character of that design?

The assumption in question is incompatible with the presumption of validity itself as well as largely meaningless and nugatory. Therefore right holder of that design is not required to prove that the design has individual character, but need only to indicate what constitutes the individual character of that design, that is to say, indicates what, in his view, are the element or elements of the design concerned which give it its individual character.

Intellectual property