On April 1, 2003 OHIM began registering and publishing Community designs. Registration proceedings for Community designs are restricted to an examination of the formalities of the application. Prior to registration there is no substantive examination, i.e. the novelty and individual character of the designs are not examined.
However, after registration, third parties may object to a registration by filing an invalidity request with OHIM based on prior art or other earlier rights. OHIM will cancel the registration where the facts and evidence presented by the third party prove that the contested Community design does not fulfil the requirements for protection.