Novelty and individual character
A design has to be new and has to have an individual character. A design is regarded as new if, on the date of your filing (or the priority date), no identical design (that is a design whose features differ only in immaterial details) has been made available to the public.
A design is considered to have an individual character if the overall impression it produces on an informed user differs from the overall impression produced on that user by any design which has been made available to the public before the date of filing (or before the priority date).
In order to assess the newness and the individual character of a design, the design must be deemed to have been made available to the public if it has been published after registration or in some other way, or has been exhibited, traded or made public in some other way, unless initiated parties in the sector in question in Europe (EC and EEA) could not reasonably have known about these facts under normal circumstances (notification to a third party subject to confidentiality is, therefore, not regarded as making something available to the public).
Period of grace
The making available to the public by the designer, its successor in title or by a third party on the basis of information they have issued, is not detrimental to the newness or the individual character if it has taken place in the twelve months prior to the date of filing (or the priority date). In other words, you have a period of grace of twelve months to file your design as of the point in time that it is made available to the public.