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30/12/2020
31/01/2020
20/01/2020
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ECTA 41st ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN PRAGUE - EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
03/02/2023
It's time to register for the ECTA 41st Annual Conference ‘Exploring IP Magic’ in Prague! REGISTER HERE TO BENEFIT FROM THE EARLY BIRD RATE! Check out the programme here, and attendance options and prices here. ECTA members can attend at a reduced fee, make sure you have renewed your membership before registering! If you are not a member, join ECTA first to benefit from the members' pricing! Early bird rates are available until 7 April (included). The Conference venue is the Prague Congress Centre, quickly accessible from the city centre. ECTA has secured a limited number of rooms at various hotels (in the vicinity of the Conference venue and in the City centre) and they will be sold on a first come first served basis. For details on hotel options, please refer to the confirmation email received after registration. From 28 June to 1 July we will explore the magic of IP through numerous engaging sessions on the latest IP trends and case law, ECTA Committees will meet again to work on impactful projects, and you can bet on great networking opportunities and fun in the most attractive locations. All IP colleagues, whether senior or younger professionals, will benefit from attending the Conference and from this unique and friendly Community. If you are new to ECTA and the Conference we look forward to meeting you at a dedicated reception! Get ready for another rewarding ECTA Conference!
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ECTA, INTA AND MARQUES SUBMITTED JOINT COMMENTS ON THE NEW PROPOSED EU DESIGN LAW
01/02/2023
ECTA, INTA and MARQUES have once again joined forces to review the European Commission’s proposals for a revised EU Designs Regulation and Directive and submitted yesterday the Joint Comments to the respective Public Consultation (please see here). Our input built largely on the recommendations provided to the European Commission over the past years, in particular, our Joint Paper on Legal Review of EU Designs System, submitted in July 2018 (please see here), and Joint Comments on the European Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment submitted in January 2021 (please see here). In this context and based on the ECTA Design Committee’s reflections and discussions in the last years, ECTA also submitted a number of individual position papers and other contributions on designs, such as a Position Paper on 3D Printing and its Implications on Design Law (please see here) in April 2021 and the Position Paper on the interpretation of technical functionality under art. 8(1) CDR (please see here). We welcome the efforts of the European Commission in attempting to achieve greater harmonisation in the area of industrial designs and taking on board some of the proposals and recommendations presented in our earlier papers and joint submissions. We would also like to thank the ECTA Design Committee as well as the Design teams of INTA and MARQUES for their collaboration and relevant contributions towards a more modern and efficient EU design system. ----- ECTA Design Committee is strongly involved in design-related matters. If you would like to join this Committee, take part in the General Committee Elections and apply before 3 March 2023.
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ECTA GENERAL COMMITTEE ELECTIONS 2023/2025 - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS!
31/01/2023
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!
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FULLY BOOKED - ECTA Alicante Round Table on Geographical Indications
30/01/2023
Regrettably we cannot accept further registrations as the event is FULLY BOOKED. 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. Participation is free of charge and onsite only. You can consult the programme with speakers here. The event is co-organised with the Commercial Law Department of the University of Alicante.
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SME Fund 2023: call for applications is open!
24/01/2023
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.
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Communications with WIPO International Bureau: Requirement to indicate an e-mail address
17/01/2023
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.
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Annual greetings by ECTA President and plans for 2023!
12/01/2023
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! Yours sincerely, Mladen Vukmir, ECTA President
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EUIPO: API PLATFORM AND NEW EUTM FILING FORM ARE NOW AVAILABLE
09/01/2023
In line with the Strategic Plan 2025 and its commitment to modernise EUIPO’s digital service, the Office recently made available for all users the following tools: 1) API PLATFORM Following Decision No EX-22-6 of 1st August, filers can now connect their own IP management systems with the EUIPO one through the API platform. This allows customers to directly register a EUTM from their own systems and aims to make IPR service requests simpler, faster and with a reduced risk of errors. To find out more about the EUIPO API products and learn how to get started, please read here. 2) NEW EUTM FILING FORM The EUTM filing form has been updated with new features such as customisation options, a new design, faster goods and services management, and enhanced security. You can learn about all improvements by watching this dedicated webinar. Both tools have been tested beforehand by customers and developed taking into consideration the feedback received. By the end of Janaury 2023, the EUIPO aims to completely replace the current 5-Step Form and Advanced Form with the new EUTM filing form. Also, the Office is going to involve users to test a new filing form for designs as well as new products for the API platform for designs, with the plan to launch them next year. The ECTA EUIPO-Link Committee welcomes the introduction of these new tools which will certainly help in the filing procedure and will avoid formal deficiencies and classification issues.
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EUIPO ACADEMY'S LEARNING AND TRAINING IN JANUARY
05/01/2023
The EUIPO’s Academy offers webinar courses every Tuesday. Please note that the recorded webinars are available on the EUIPO learning portal after the broadcast. The January schedule of the webinars is as follows: Tuesday 17 January, 10:00-11:00 (CET): Missed a deadline … how to get back on track? - Intermediate Tuesday 24 January, 10:00-11:00 (CET): Business-Smart IP Enforcement Strategies for Africa - Intermediate Tuesday 31 January, 10:00-12:00 (CET): SME Fund 2023 - Basic Visit the Academy's Calendar to access the webinars and see the latest updates for the upcoming months. For further information about the EUIPO Academy's learning offer please visit the Academy's Learning Portal.
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ECTA Member’s Voice: Recap on the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework
21/12/2022
By Delia Belciu, ECTA Data Committee Chair, DB Law Office, RO The framework governing the transfer of data to and from the United States to EU is expected to change soon and the ECTA Data Committee is closely monitoring the developments. Following the Court of Justice of the European Union decision as of July 16th, 2020, in the Schrems II case, the Privacy Shield framework which governed the data transfers between the EU - US was invalidated, with a big impact especially for the business sectors. On March 25th 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and US President, Joe Biden, announced that they had reached an agreement in principle on a new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. The framework is intended to foster trans-Atlantic data flows and to address the concerns raised in the Schrems II case. Following that, the EU and US teams worked for many months to finalise the details of this agreement and translate it into a legal framework. On October 7th, 2022, US President, Joe Biden, signed an Executive Order on “Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities”. The Executive Order introduces new binding safeguards to address all the points raised in the Schrems II case, limiting access to EU data by US intelligence services and establishing a Data Protection Review Court. Along with the Regulations issued by the Attorney General on the same day, the Executive Order implements into US law the agreement in principle reached between the US Government and the European Commission. The European Commission is to prepare a draft adequacy decision and then launch its adoption procedure. Until then, model clauses, which companies can introduce in their commercial contracts, are the most used mechanism to transfer data from the EU. Last year, the Commission adopted “Standard Contractual Clauses” to facilitate their use, including in light of the requirements set by the Court of Justice in the Schrems II case. All the safeguards that the European Commission has agreed with the US Government in the area of national security (including the redress mechanism) will be available for all transfers to the US under the GDPR, regardless of the transfer used tool. The ECTA Data Committee will continue monitoring the developments on the agreement and will keep the ECTA community updated. If you wish to join the Data or another ECTA Committee, General Committee Elections are coming up on 16 January 2023, check ECTA emails attentively in order not to miss your opportunity to apply!
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New requirements on submitting evidence to the EUIPO from 1 February 2023
20/12/2022
As indicated in the official news here, following the recent Decision No EX-22-7, new rules on submitting evidence on data carriers (USB flash drives, pen drives or similar memory units) to the Office will apply as of 1 February 2023. In particular: - Only unlayered PDFs (i.e. standard, static PDF files) are acceptable. Encrypted, executable and/or compressed files are not acceptable; - 20 Mb is the maximum size of each individual file saved on the data carrier. When such requirements are not met, the EUIPO will consider an annex, or part of an annex, not to have been filed and no deficiency letter will be sent. If an annex submitted on a data carrier complies with the requirements, the EUIPO will upload it into the electronic file (DAS). If the combined size of all files on the data carrier exceeds 1 GB, the data carrier is accepted but the EUIPO is not obliged to upload its content into the electronic file due to possible technical constraints.
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EUIPO-DG TAXUD Joint Study ‘EU enforcement of IPRs: results at the EU border and in the EU internal market, 2021’
16/12/2022
The EUIPO and DG TAXUD have just published a joint study ‘EU enforcement of IPRs: results at the EU border and in the EU internal market, 2021’. The report is based on data on the detentions at the EU border reported by customs authorities of all the Member States through the EU-wide anti-counterfeit and anti-piracy information system (COPIS), as well as on data on the detentions within the internal market reported by the enforcement authorities of some EU Members States through the IP Enforcement Portal (IPEP). The report shows the figures of 2021 and their comparison with the previous ones. The aim is to provide useful information to support the analysis of IPR infringements in the EU and develop countermeasures, as well as provide EU policymakers with data to work on appropriate policies. To read the executive summary, please click here. To read the full study, please click here.
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ECTA Member’s Voice: Recap on the new EU-US Data Privacy Framework
13/12/2022
By Delia Belciu, ECTA Data Committee Chair, DB Law Office, RO The framework governing the transfer of data to and from the United States to EU is expected to change soon and the ECTA Data Committee is closely monitoring the developments. Following the Court of Justice of the European Union decision as of July 16th, 2020, in the Schrems II case, the Privacy Shield framework which governed the data transfers between the EU - US was invalidated, with a big impact especially for the business sectors. On March 25th 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and US President, Joe Biden, announced that they had reached an agreement in principle on a new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework. The framework is intended to foster trans-Atlantic data flows and to address the concerns raised in the Schrems II case. Following that, the EU and US teams worked for many months to finalise the details of this agreement and translate it into a legal framework. On October 7th, 2022, US President, Joe Biden, signed an Executive Order on “Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities”. The Executive Order introduces new binding safeguards to address all the points raised in the Schrems II case, limiting access to EU data by US intelligence services and establishing a Data Protection Review Court. Along with the Regulations issued by the Attorney General on the same day, the Executive Order implements into US law the agreement in principle reached between the US Government and the European Commission. The European Commission is to prepare a draft adequacy decision and then launch its adoption procedure. Until then, model clauses, which companies can introduce in their commercial contracts, are the most used mechanism to transfer data from the EU. Last year, the Commission adopted “Standard Contractual Clauses” to facilitate their use, including in light of the requirements set by the Court of Justice in the Schrems II case. All the safeguards that the European Commission has agreed with the US Government in the area of national security (including the redress mechanism) will be available for all transfers to the US under the GDPR, regardless of the transfer used tool. The ECTA Data Committee will continue monitoring the developments on the agreement and will keep the ECTA community updated. If you wish to join the Data or another ECTA Committee, General Committee Elections are coming up on 16 January 2023, check ECTA emails attentively in order not to miss your opportunity to apply!
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The European Commission published the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List 2022
05/12/2022
The European Commission has recently published the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List 2022, based on information reported in a public consultation process and supported by several in-house studies of the EUIPO Observatory on Infringement of IPRs. The document names both online service providers and physical marketplaces located outside the EU that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial IPR infringements, especially through counterfeiting and piracy. The aim of the list is to encourage the operators and owners of those online service providers, as well as local authorities and governments, to take action to reduce the availability of IPR infringing goods or services. To read the official news, please click here. ---- The ECTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee is strongly involved in fighting against counterfeiting and piracy by sharing of professional experience and best practices. The aim of this Committee is to promote the most adequate legislation and practical enforcement techniques, as well as to raise awareness in this field. If you wish to join an ECTA Committee, General Committee Elections are coming up on 16 January 2023, look out for ECTA communications!
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ECTA Member’s Voice: UK Parliamentary Bill ‘the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill’ or ‘REUL’
30/11/2022
By Carin Burchell, ECTA International Trade Committee, Re Markability Limited (UK) This Parliamentary Bill aims to end the special status of EU law in the UK by 31 December 2023. The effect will be to make it easier to amend, repeal or replace EU law which is currently retained on the UK statute book. If the Bill becomes law, it will also make it easier for UK courts to depart from retained EU case law. This is intended to reduce regulatory burdens and costs on UK businesses. The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 22 September 2022, received its second reading on 25 October 2022 and is due to proceed through the Commons Committee stage during November 2022. It will then have to be passed by the House of Lords – so there is still some way to go before it can become law. Even if the Bill does proceed to legislation, given the current economic climate and political uncertainty, it seems unlikely to us that revised UK IP Law will be enacted soon. That being said, the UK is of course a common law system and IP law will continue to evolve as issues arise, through the courts, in the usual way. The UK government states that it has committed to maintaining compliance with all its international obligations (including those contained within the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Withdrawal Agreement, and other international treaties). The UK IPO have recently published an initial list of REUL for IP here. They say that they are going to update this information as their understanding develops and suggest that we therefore keep following this page for updates. ----- 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.
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The new Design Regulation and Directive have been published for feedback
29/11/2022
The new Design Directive and Regulation proposals have been published (here and here) and are open for comments until 23 January 2023. The aim of the initiative is to update EU rules on design protection, in particular: - modernise, clarify and strengthen design protection; - make design protection more accessible and affordable across the EU; - ensure EU and national rules governing design protection are more compatible; - further align EU rules on design protection for repair spare parts. ECTA has closely followed the reform and contributed to the previous consultations of the European Commission on the topic of industrial designs, as well as produced a number of position papers individually and together with other associations over the course of the past few years. Through its Design Committee, ECTA is already reviewing these proposals and preparing its comments. All feedback received will be summarised by the European Commission and presented to the European Parliament and Council to feed the legislative debate.
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EURid - Update of the .EU ADR Rules
28/11/2022
EURid updated its terms and conditions for .EU domain names and the ADR rules, to comply with the new legal framework for .EU domain names (Regulation 2019/517 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 and its accompanying Acts). The main changes, already in force, are: - ADR procedure timelines are shorter; - Types of prior rights that can be invoked by the complainant when starting an ADR proceeding; - New procedure on the implementation of the ADR decisions by EURid (transfer of the domain name). Interested parties should consult the dedicated page here, to find out about the above policy, rules, applicable documents and case fees. Should you need clarification, please contact the WIPO Center at arbiter.mail@wipo.int.
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EUIPO TMD WEBINAR SERIES - ECTA AND INTA JOINT WEBINAR ON 15 DECEMBER
25/11/2022
As last year, the EUIPO ECP7 TMD Implementation Training project has organised, in collaboration with the National IPOs and User Associations, including ECTA, a series of live webinars which will cover topics related to the changes brought about by the transposition of the Trade Mark Directive in each country. This second set of webinars is broadcasted via Zoom every Thursday in the national languages (for country specific presentations) and English. As part of this project, ECTA and INTA will run a joint webinar entitled ‘Invalidity and cancellation action. A roadmap to the European Union’ on 15 December (10.00-12.00 CET). Speakers will include: Carina Gommers (ECTA, Wiggin, BE) Mara Mondolfo (ECTA, Società Italiana Brevetti, IT) Paola Ruggiero (INTA, Bird & Bird, IT) Andrej Bukovnik (INTA, Bukovnik & Kulbaba, BE) Registration is free of charge. To find out more about the webinar series and sign up for the sessions you are interested in, please click here.
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WIPO: Publication of the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2022
24/11/2022
WIPO has recently launched the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) 2022 report about the use of the IP system around the world in 2021 with respective data. In the context of the global pandemic, patent applications increased by 3.6%, industrial design filing activity grew by 9.2%, while trade mark filing activity by 5.5%. The publication also gives a picture of activity in the creative economy based on survey data and industry sources. To read the full report please click here.
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WIPO launched the new Global Brand Database
18/11/2022
Recently WIPO launched a new interface for the Global Brand Database, which offers the same functionality as the previous one but the display of information has been revised for a better user experience. The database includes international trade marks under the Madrid protocol; national and regional trade marks shared by national and regional IP Offices; International Nonproprietary Names for Pharmaceutical Substances; appellations of origin under the Lisbon Agreement; emblems protected under article 6ter. The new interface also includes new interactive graphs for statistical information. The old interface will be discontinued in three months. During this three-month period, users can ask questions and provide feedback. A webinar to show the differences between the old and new interface and the main features is available during the week of 21 November at different dates and times. To find out more, please read the official WIPO news here.
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