The call for applications to the SME Fund 2023 is open until 8 December 2023. The Fund is a grant scheme designed to offer financial support to EU SMEs to protect their IPRs. The Fund is a European Commission initiative implemented by the EUIPO in collaboration with European national and regional IP Offices.
Applications can be submitted for Voucher 1 IP pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan) and Voucher 2 Trade Marks and Designs. In the SME Fund 2022 these both fell under Voucher 1.
- Beneficiaries of Voucher 1 will get 90% off IP Scan services on expert advice and guidance for IP strategy, saving up to EUR 1.350;
- Beneficiaries of Voucher 2 will get 75% off the basic application fees for trade mark and design at EU level, national and regional level, and 50% off the basic application fees for trade mark and design outside the EU, saving up to EUR 1.000.
Full information about the requirements and how to apply for financing support can be consulted here. Funds are offered on a first come, first served basis.
To follow the SME fund 2023 related news, you can subscribe to the newsletter.
Following the special focus on SMEs by the European Commission and the EUIPO, ECTA established the ECTA SME Task Force in 2021 to assist our Association in taking 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.
If you wish to join the SME Task Force or another ECTA Committee, General Committee Elections are ongoing: submit your application here.
Communications with WIPO International Bureau: Requirement to indicate an e-mail address
As of 1 February 2023, amendments to Section 11 of the Administrative Instructions for the Application of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks will enter into force.
Applicants and holders will be required to communicate with the WIPO International Bureau by electronic means. If not already done, they should provide an e-mail address as a matter of urgency by presenting an online request here using the Change in Holder Details or the Management of Representative tools.
For further information, please refer to Information Notice No. 19/2022.
ECTA GENERAL COMMITTEE ELECTIONS 2023/2025 - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS!
The ECTA General Committee Elections are open!
Being part of an ECTA Committee is an invaluable opportunity to network and cooperate with many IP professionals from the EU and beyond, follow policy developments on your topic of interest, work on impactful projects, represent ECTA in working groups with EUIPO, WIPO and the European Commission and much more.
If you are interested, please carefully read the following documents and make sure you have renewed your membership for 2023 before submitting your application. If you are not a member, please join ECTA first.
• ECTA Committee Member Expectation Sheet • ECTA Bulletin article on General Committee Elections 2023 • Overview of our Committees
COMMITTEE TERM: The Committee term constitutes two years (2023-2025), and Committee members may serve on the same Committee for a maximum consecutive term of six years* (three terms of two years each).
Please note that Committee membership is not renewed automatically. Current Committee members will have to re-apply, if they have not yet reached the maximum term and wish to stay on the same Committee for another term. To determine your eligibility, check how long you have been a member of your Committee in ‘My Profile’ section of the ECTA website. If you are not eligible, you can still submit your application for another Committee or, after a break of two years (in 2025), it is possible to re-apply for your current Committee.
APPLICATION PROCESS: ECTA members should apply for ONE COMMITTEE ONLY * by filling in the online application form.
All ECTA members, both from EU and non-EU, can apply for a Committee (however, please read the Committee description carefully first, to see where your expertise and jurisdiction would be a better fit). When completing the application form, please indicate where required your 1st and 2nd Committee choice of preference. The list of nominations will be forwarded to the respective Committee Chair for evaluation. In case you cannot be accepted in your 1st choice, you will be automatically considered for your 2nd choice. Please, supplement your application by describing briefly your IP expertise and your previous ECTA involvement (if any) where indicated in the form. The outcome of your application will be known in May 2023.
The Committees’ changeover date is on 10 July 2023, the newly composed Committees will become operational from that date onwards and the first meeting will be held on 12-13 October 2023 at the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Turin (Italy).
To apply for a Committee of your choice make sure to submit your candidacy by completing the application form BY 3 MARCH 2023 (no late applications can be accepted)! You have received the link to apply via email or log into the ECTA private site.
*In specific circumstances there may be exceptions to the general rules, namely the possibility to serve in two Committees or to exceed the maximum term of six years in the same Committee. In such cases, the member has to complete the application form and contact the respective Committee Chair(s) at the same time, who will submit the exception form to the ECTA Secretariat. Any exception is to be approved by the ECTA Board of Directors.
We look forward to receiving your application and thank you in advance for the interest in serving our association!
ECTA Alicante Round Table on Geographical Indications
The ECTA Round Table ‘Geographical indications in the turmoil - Understanding the legal reform, the audacious case law and the relationship with trade marks’ will take place in Alicante (Spain) on 2 March, 16.30 - 19.30 CET.
▶️Save the date and register here! Participation is free of charge and onsite only. As seats are limited, please register only if you are able to attend physically.
The event is co-organised with the Commercial Law Department of the University of Alicante. More information on the programme and speakers will be shared in the coming weeks.
Annual greetings by ECTA President and plans for 2023!
Happy New Year! May 2023 be a joyful year for you all and may it mark the end of all wars and the restoration of the state of peace. My thoughts and those of the ECTA Family are in particular with the people of Ukraine.
Despite the difficulties at a global level, 2022 was a successful year for ECTA and allowed us to meet again in person after a two-year hiatus. It was exceptional to see many ECTA friends at the ECTA ®etreat in Milan, at the memorable ECTA 40th Annual Conference in Copenhagen, and at the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Ljubljana with a successful workshop on the metaverse and NFTs. In 2022, we also hosted a number of online events, such as the round table on the limits of good faith and our first Africa-dedicated webinar. Among others, we met with relevant DGs of the European Commission, held fruitful Bilateral Meetings with EUIPO and WIPO, signed a MoU with the Bulgarian IP Office, launched the ECTA Award, actively participated in the European IP debate, as well as completed several submissions to authorities, external and internal papers for the benefit of ECTA members and the IP community.
Looking ahead to 2023, a lot is cooking for you! At the end of January, you can register at the early bird fee for the ECTA 41st Annual Conference ‘Exploring IP Magic’ in Prague (28 June - 1 July). Get ready for an extensive programme with informative sessions, distinguished guests, lively discussions, networking opportunities...and fun!
Don’t forget to also mark these dates in your calendar:
• 16 January: Launch of the ECTA General Committee Elections. Members can apply to join one of our Committees and contribute to the core of ECTA. If you are not yet a member, join ECTA first! • 28 February: Deadline to submit your paper for the ECTA Award. • 2 March: ECTA Round Table in Alicante ‘Geographical indications in the turmoil - Understanding the legal reform, the audacious case law and the relationship with trade marks’, co-organised with the University of Alicante; • 20 April: ECTA ®etreat online on non-traditional trade marks; • 12-14 October: ECTA Autumn Meeting in Turin for Supervisory Board and Committee members.
In 2023 we will build on and develop 2022’s achievements. We will deepen ties with our stakeholders and establish new ones both at an international and local level, advocating for a balance of IP rights. We will also continue to closely monitor, keep our members updated and contribute to the most relevant topics on the IP agenda in Europe, such as the support to SMEs, AI, EU anti-counterfeiting toolbox, and the EU Design and GIs reforms. Last but not least, three editions of the ECTA Bulletin are in the pipeline!
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I express my gratitude to all ECTA members and invite you to renew your membership (if you have not done so yet) to get the most out of our Association.
If you wish to join ECTA, please submit your membership application here. Select the membership category that suits you best and start benefitting from the advantages of being a member. I would be delighted to welcome you to the ECTA Family!