The SME Fund is a grant scheme designed to help EU SMEs protect their IPRs. The SME Fund is a European Commission initiative implemented by the EUIPO and its second edition runs from 23 January 2023 to 8 December 2023.
This year, 4 vouchers have been published:
Voucher 1 – IP scan Voucher 2 – trade marks and designs Voucher 3 – patents Voucher 4 – community plant variety
Funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
To understand more about this second edition of the SME Fund, we suggest watching the following EUIPO webinars:
• Power your business with the SME Fund 2023 edition – 2nd launch
• Power your business with the SME Fund 2023 edition - 2nd update (focused on patents and plant varieties)
ECTA established its own SME Task Force in 2021 to assist our Association in taking an active part in the EU debate and activities related to SMEs. ECTA aims to contribute to more and better use of IP by SMEs as well as to highlight the relevant role of IP practitioners in bringing this about.
EUIPO STUDY ON ONLINE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN THE EU 2017-2022
The EUIPO has published a new study on online copyright infringement in the EU, the third study on the evolution of web-based online copyright infringement between 2017 and 2022, designed to adjust the strategies and policies used to combat piracy and support the growth of the digital content industry.
The study found that web-based piracy in the EU declined until 2021 and reversed this trend in 2022, although it remains significantly below the 2017 level.
The report highlights that TV shows, series and on-demand movies are the most pirated genres, followed by anime productions (series and films) and live streams of sports events and dedicated sports channels.
ECTA MEETINGS WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATION OF BELGIUM TO THE EU
Yesterday, ECTA took part in a number of in-person meetings with relevant DGs of the European Commission (DG TRADE, DG GROW, DG AGRI) and the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU as the next EU Council Presidency, to discuss the most important topics of the IP agenda in Europe at this moment, such as:
• Ongoing trade negotiations, agreements and dialogues; • IP support programmes for SMEs; • Ongoing GI and Design reforms; • New scheme for protection of non-agri Gis • the EU Patent Package proposed by the European Commission • and many other topics of interest to our members and related to ongoing projects within various ECTA Committees.
The meetings were attended by ECTA President Mladen Vukmir; First Vice-President Carina Gommers; Second Vice-President Paola Ruggiero; Secretary General Julien Scicluna; Treasurer Jordi Güell; Head of Legal Affairs Anna Ostanina.
ECTA MEMBER’S VOICE: UKIPO Updated Guidance on the Address for Service
By Carin Burchell, ECTA International Trade Committee, Re Markability Limited (UK)
The UKIPO has updated its guidance on the address for service (AfS) requirements for comparable trade marks (‘clones’ of EU trade marks) and re-registered designs (‘clones’ of EU registered designs), in light of the upcoming changes when the 3-year grace period ends on 31 December 2023.
The guidance confirms that, from 1 January 2024, the IPO will require a UK AfS for comparable rights involved in any new invalidation, rectification, or revocation proceedings. This means an address in the UK, Gibraltar or the Channel Islands.
These changes do not affect new applicants for UK rights, since they already require a UK address for service.
With regard to an address for service in the EEA which is recorded against an existing registered trade mark or design, there is no requirement to provide a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address for service for any of the following actions:
• renewal of registration • surrender of registration • recordal of any licence agreement details made with a third party • changing address of the right holder
The UKIPO will ask for a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address to be provided only if a UK registered trade mark or design is involved in any proceedings for:
• invalidation • rectification • revocation
In such cases, failure to provide a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address would mean that proceedings could succeed (without the involvement of the rights owner) and the right could be, unknowingly, lost.
However, if the right is a comparable trade mark or re-registered design (or ‘clone’ of an EU registered trade mark or design), please refer to specific guidance below explaining the circumstances where a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address is required.
For ongoing proceedings such as opposition, invalidation, or revocation which started before 1 January 2021, the following scenarios apply:
• if an EEA address for service is being used, this can be kept • if an EEA address needs to be changed during any ongoing proceedings, it may be changed to another EEA address or an address in the UK, Gibraltar, or the Channel Islands • if a UK address needs to be changed during any ongoing proceedings, it may be changed to another address in the UK, Gibraltar, or the Channel Islands.
The views expressed are those of our members and not necessarily of ECTA as an association. The content has not been subjected to a verification process, the accuracy of the information contained in the article is responsibility of the author.
ECTA WORKSHOP IN TURIN ‘ACCELERATING THE FUTURE: IP IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR’ (13 OCTOBER 2023)
**Supervisory Board and Committee members who are registered for the ECTA Autumn Meeting do NOT need to register separately for the workshop!**
Join us in Turin for the ECTA workshop ‘Accelerating the Future: IP in the Automotive Sector’ on 13 October 2023, 16.00-18.00 CET!
The automotive industry is rapidly evolving and IPRs - copyright, trade marks, patents, design rights - are valuable assets and key to staying competitive.
After a welcome by ECTA President Mladen Vukmir, Adam György (SBGK, HU) will moderate a panel of experts comprised of Torsten Dilly (BMW Group, DE), Prof. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Bardehle Pagenberg, DE) and Sarka Petivlasova (Hogan Lovells, ES). A lot of interesting discussions can be expected - testimony to that are the numerous cases, including before the CJEU, that deal with IPRs in this sector, ranging from the scope of protection to enforcement to jurisdiction issues.
This workshop forms part of the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Turin, a two-day event reserved for Supervisory Board and Committee members. However, we're delighted to extend a warm invitation to ECTA members and non-members who are not attending the Autumn Meeting but wish to register for the workshop only.
REGISTER HERE FOR THE WORKSHOP!
The workshop will be on-site only with no broadcast provided. The participation fee details are as follows:
• 30,00 € (excl. VAT) for members who are not registered for the ECTA Autumn Meeting; • 50,00 € (excl. VAT) for non-members. • Free of charge for officials, full-time students, full-time professors.
A certificate of attendance will be sent upon request after the event. Accreditation has been requested in Italy from both Ordine dei Consulenti and CNF.