As the SME topic is very high on the agenda of the EUIPO, WIPO and European Commission, ECTA decided to create an ad hoc Task Force to better follow the developments in this regard.
The task force is Chaired by Past ECTA President Sozos-Christos Theodoulou (CY) and composed of other experienced members of the ECTA Advisory Board, Supervisory Board and Professional Affairs Committee.
The task force, already involved in the ECP6 Working Group ‘Supporting SMEs’ and EUIPO Expert Group on ‘SMEs’, will also deal with other SME-related projects and initiatives to empower SMEs across and beyond the EU to protect and enforce their competitive advantage through IP rights.
The EUIPO’s Academy offers the following webinar on Tuesday 6 July, 10:00-12:00 (CET): ITrack on case-Law: decisions of the trimester of the EUIPO's Boards of Appeal - decisions of the trimester of the GC and the CJEU, 2021 Q2 - Advanced.
The session is open to all and a live chat with the speakers will be made available. Please note that the recorded webinar is available on the EUIPO learning portal after the broadcast.
Visit the Academy's Calendar to access the webinar and see the latest updates for the upcoming months.
On the EUIPO Learning Portal you can also find the following eLearning courses:
- Plant Variety Rights: insights and tips for enforcers - Intermediate - Link
- Judicial Cooperation in Online Intellectual Property Cases - Intermediate - Link
-Register and fees operations – the great unknown - Advanced - Link
- Proof of Reputation: What evidence to submit - Intermediate - Link
For further information please visit the Academy's Learning Portal.
Besides, the application period for the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme for practitioners has been extended until 31 July. The 4th edition will offer 60 places which will be allocated on a ’first come first served‘ basis. For more information about the study plans, indicative dates and the tuition fees, please read here.
WIPO has recently released the latest edition of the Madrid System Yearly Review, providing facts and figures as well as an analysis of international trade mark registrations in 2020.
The report shows that the number of international applications filed fell by 0.6% in 2020, while international registrations fell by 3.2%. However, the overall number of active (in force) registrations increased by 4%, while renewals increased by 11.6%.
Despite one-year declines, applicants based in the US (10.005) and Germany (7.334) continued to file the highest numbers of Madrid applications in 2020. From among the top 10 origins, China recorded the higher growth in 2020 (+16.4%). However, the UK (+5.1%) and Italy (+3.6%) also reported notable growth. On the other hand, Madrid applications from France (-16.3%), Switzerland (-5.4%) and Turkey (-15.4%) saw the biggest declines among the top 10 origins.
The Review also includes a special theme, comparing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
SMEs can apply for financing support under the new Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund until 31 July 2021. This is the fourth of five windows for applications, open in alternate months until September 2021.
The Fund is a € 20 million grant scheme to help enterprises in the EU, that fit the official definition of a SME, access their IP rights. Applications can be made for financial support in the form of reimbursements for trade mark and design application and for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP scan) available at participating national and regional IP offices*. Each SME that applies can be reimbursed up to a maximum amount of € 1.500.
Thanks to the efforts of some User Associations, including ECTA, professional IP representatives can now assist SMEs in deciding about the services offered through the SME Fund as well as requesting the funding in their name. This is a change in comparison to January window 1.
Kindly note that the fifth and last application window will be open between 1 September 2021 - 30 September 2021.
Full information about the requirements and how to apply for financing support can be consulted on the EUIPO website here. Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
*Before applying, you should check the list to ensure that the IP office in your Member State offers this service.
On 28 June 2021, ECTA and WIPO held a virtual meeting to discuss topics of mutual interest and importance such as:
• Consequences for the Madrid and Hague System after Brexit;
• WIPO’s information and communication technology (ICT) strategy;
• Next steps planned by WIPO in respect of the AI issues;
• Issues and concerns regarding security on existence of rights in China.
Newly elected WIPO Director General Daren Tang attended the Bilateral Meeting, along with other WIPO colleagues, ECTA President, Head of Legal Affairs and WIPO-Link Committee representatives.
ECTA is extremely grateful to WIPO and ECTA members for the willingness to discuss ways to improve Global IP systems, especially during the many Bilateral Meetings we have held regularly over the past years.
We look forward to further fruitful collaboration with WIPO and continuation of the open dialogue we have established together.