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WIPO Global Innovation Index 2023
According to WIPO’s Global Innovation Index released yesterday, Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK, and Singapore are the world’s most innovative economies in 2023. The GII 2023 used 80 indicators to track global innovation trends in 132 economies around the globe and found that a group of middle-income economies (Indonesia, China, Turkey, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Iran) have emerged over the past ten years as the fastest climbers of the GII rankings. The GII also identifies robust investment in innovation but an unstable outlook for venture capital and risk finance for startups. To read the executive summary, please click here. To read the GII 2023 in full, please click here.
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SME Fund: learn more through dedicated webinars
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.
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**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.
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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. To read the executive summary, please click here. To read the full study, please click here.
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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.
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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.
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Austrian IP Day 2023 (Vienna)
The Austrian IP Day will be held on 21 September 2023 at WU Vienna – Großer Festsaal (Library & Learning Center). The event is organised by the Center for Intellectual Property, Media and Innovation Law at the University for Continuing Education Krems and ECTA is honoured to support and promote it. We invite our interested local and German-speaking members and IP practitioners to attend the event by registering HERE. The Austrian IP Day aims not only to give an overview of the case law in the field of IP rights in Germany and Austria, but also focus on the UNIFIED Patent Court, Green IP and economic issues related to IP. To find out more about the programme, please click HERE. Kindly note that the event will be held in German only.
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WIPO survey on trade mark and industrial design search competency framework
WIPO is working to establish a competency framework in the area of trade mark and industrial design search, to assess training needs and develop relevant content for training activities to be carried out worldwide. ECTA members have been invited to cooperate on this project by completing the respective survey. If you are an ECTA member, you can find the survey link on the private site/News section. This questionnaire aims to identify the competencies necessary to carry out the role of trade mark and industrial design search from the perspective of current professionals in the field.
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EUIPO Observatory - Report on trade secrets litigation trends in the EU
The EUIPO Observatory published a report on the litigation trends regarding the unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of trade secrets pursuant to Article 18 of the Trade Secrets Directive. The report covers litigation between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2022 and shows the level of harmonisation achieved after the implementation of the Directive. The report consists of three parts: - a quantitative analysis which is based on statistical trends and reveals a number of differences across Members States; - a qualitative analysis which provides a theoretical discussion on the interpretation of the definition of trade secrets, unlawful acts, the measures granted under the Directive, and the principle of proportionality; - a collection of selected cases on trade secrets issued by the courts of the Member States. -------- At ECTA several Committees are closely following the topic of trade secrets.
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EUIPO IP Mediation Conference - 19 and 20 October 2023
Registration is open for the 4th edition of the EUIPO IP Mediation Conference which will take place on 19-20 October 2023 in Alicante, with the possibility to attend remotely. This event will bring together experts and practitioners to explore the latest trends and developments in mediation and alternative dispute resolution in the field of IP. We are pleased to announce that ECTA President Mladen Vukmir will speak in the session ‘The lawyer as a problem-solver’. Kindly consult the Conference programme here.
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ECTA Members’ Voice: EU and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement
By Nick Holmes, ECTA member, Davies Collison Cave Law, Australia The European Union has recently signed a free trade agreement with New Zealand, to conclude five years of negotiations between the parties successfully. Whilst both parties needed to make concessions in order to secure an agreement, it is considered to be a positive and significant development in trade between the two regions. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed the deal as ‘trailblazing’, as it included commitments to the Paris climate agreement. The agreement also includes a commitment to 'sustainable development', which is unprecedented in a European trade agreement. Although the European Parliament must still approve the agreement this should not be an issue, as all individual member states have already given their agreement. Australia is continuing its long negotiations to try to also secure a free trade agreement with the European Union. However, Australian reluctance to recognise some European geographical indications, coupled with resistance from the Australian farm and dairy industries to agree to similar concessions to those made by New Zealand to secure an agreement, indicate that it may be some time before Australia and the European Union reach a similar agreement. ----- 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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Julien Scicluna elected as new ECTA Secretary General
We are pleased to announce that, during the ECTA 41st Annual Conference in Prague, Julien Scicluna has been elected as new Secretary General. Our sincere gratitude goes to former Secretary General, Carolin Wittkamp-Kind, for her remarkable service, tireless dedication and love for ECTA over the past years! The ECTA Board of Directors is now composed as follows: • Mladen Vukmir, President - Responsible for the strategic direction and overall supervision • Carina Gommers, 1st Vice-President - Responsible for the academic programme of events • Paola Ruggiero, 2nd Vice-President - Responsible for the general management of Committees • Julien Scicluna, Secretary General - Responsible for administrative and contractual matters • Jordi Güell, Treasurer - Responsible for financial matters
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João Negrão appointed today as next EUIPO Executive Director
João Negrão has been appointed as the next EUIPO Executive Director following this morning’s vote at the Council of the EU. João Negrão is currently President of the EUIPO Boards of Appeal and will take on the new role when Christian Archambeau’s term expires at the end of September. We would like to sincerely congratulate Mr. Negrao on his appointment and wish him every success in this new position.
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The new 2023-2025 term of ECTA Committees starts today
The newly elected ECTA Committees start operating today, for the term 2023-2025. We would like to express our gratitude to the 400 ECTA members who applied during the General Committee Elections, making them the most successful elections in recent years. Committees are the backbone of ECTA, and we wish all Committee members enriching and informative discussions, interesting projects and impactful results, as well as the creation of meaningful professional contacts and friendships during the next two years. The first meeting of the newly elected Committees will take place during the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Turin on 12-14 October 2023, reserved for Supervisory Board and Committee members. If you are a Supervisory Board or Committee member, log into the ECTA private site and visit ECTA Committee Meetings 2023 to learn more about the event and register. If you have issues accessing the platform, contact us at for assistance.
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SME Fund: support extended to Ukrainian businesses
Ukrainian businesses have now the opportunity to apply for the SME Fund, the European Commission initiative, implemented by the EUIPO, aimed at supporting innovation and entrepreneurship among SMEs. Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “The extension of the SME Fund to Ukrainian businesses is another step towards Ukraine's successful integration in the Single Market. The financial aid in the field of intellectual property provides valuable support for Ukrainian innovative SMEs, which will play an important role in rebuilding the economy.” Read the official news here and here ---------- ECTA welcomes the initiative as it strongly advocated for extending the SME Fund to Ukrainian businesses with both the European Commission and EUIPO.
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The June ECTA Bulletin is out!
The June edition of the ECTA Bulletin is out with lots of captivating content and a cover dedicated to the highly anticipated ECTA 41st Annual Conference in Prague. Here's a glimpse of what awaits you: ✨ A warm welcome by ECTA President Mladen Vukmir to the 850 IP professionals who will meet in Prague next week. You can still be part of this exceptional event, register here! ✨ Many interviews with top IP personalities, including our outgoing Secretary General, Carolin Wittkamp-Kind; ✨ Articles about a new era for Spanish IP, legislation updates in Nigeria, proving genuine use, legal issues of AI applications in video games, and what it takes to monitor designation under the Madrid Protocol to Brazil; ✨ Case law reports such as the Hermes vs. Rothschild case, the Louboutin vs. Amazon case, and the treatment of Chinese character marks in the EU. In this issue we also say goodbye and honour the life of our dear colleague and ECTA friend Joe Cohen, who sadly passed away in March of 2023. The print-friendly version is available for ECTA members only in the Library section of the ECTA Private Site. We wish to thank the Publications Committee for compiling another great issue. Enjoy reading it and see many of you soon in Prague!
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If you have missed it, you can now watch here the ECTA/INTA joint webinar ‘Invalidity and cancellation action. A roadmap to the European Union’, held on 15 December 2022 and part of the EUIPO ECP7 TMD Implementation Training project. Speakers: Carina Gommers (ECTA, Wiggin, BE) Mara Mondolfo (ECTA, Società Italiana Brevetti, IT) Paola Ruggiero (INTA, Bird & Bird, IT) Andrej Bukovnik (INTA, Bukovnik & Kulbaba, BE) All presentations are accessible here. Many thanks to the EUIPO for inviting us to cooperate on this important training project.
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The ECTA 41st Annual Conference is only 2 weeks away! If you have not yet registered, hurry up, time is running out - register here! The Conference academic program kicks off this year with a very distinguished keynote speaker from WIPO and the discussion on the latest IP news and trends with representatives from the EUIPO and European Commission, introduced and moderated by Paola Ruggiero, ECTA Second Vice-President (Bird & Bird, IT): 1. Please, introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. My name is Paola Ruggiero, I am Head of the trade mark practice at Bird & Bird Milano and, currently, ECTA Second Vice-President. 2. Please, introduce the speakers and topic of your kick-off session. I am very honoured to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, Mr. Edward Kwakwa (Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization). Following the keynote speech, we will be updated on the current forces driving the world of IP by two other distinguished guests, Ms. Claudia Martinez-Felix (Deputy Head of Unit, DG GROW, European Commission) and Mr. Sandris Laganovskis (EUIPO Institutional and Cooperation Department). In particular, we will learn about the novelties of the GI scheme for the EU producers; the challenges in the field of counterfeiting; the metaverse, in particular trade mark and slogan protection in the metaverse, and how the metaverse is changing trade mark filing and enforcement strategies; blockchain; virtual goods and NFTs; the main changes brought by the patent package just presented by the European Commission and more. 3. Why should Conference participants join your session, and to whom in particular will your session be directed? Attending the keynote speech and the discussion on the latest IP news and trends is the best way to enter in the spirit of the ECTA Annual Conference. Attendees will have a first bite of what the Conference offers and the possibility to exchange on exciting topics directly with officials. Indeed, interesting questions from the audience are more than welcome! 4. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? Being so involved in this association and its work, some might probably think that I am not objective. Anyway, I have to say that attending the ECTA Annual Conference will offer a lot of opportunities where everybody, younger or more senior practitioners, can find something of interest: top-quality educational sessions on various and hot IP topics, exciting gatherings in the most attractive locations, and the chance to network with 800+ IP colleagues worldwide, meet remarkable guests, as well as catch up with old and new ECTA friends. And, on top of this, the possibility of discovering Prague and its surroundings by participating in Saturday excursions. **Find out more about the other educational sessions!**
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European Commission’s Proposals for an EU Customs Reform
The European Commission has recently presented its proposals for a reform of the EU Customs Union, to address the current challenges that EU customs are facing: an increase in trade volumes, especially in e-commerce, a growing number of EU standards to be checked at the border, and geopolitical crises. The purpose of the measures proposed is to reduce administrative burdens and achieve simplification of customs processes, embracing the digital transformation, as well as provide customs authorities with tools and resources to better assess and stop imports which pose real risks to the EU, its citizens and economy. A new EU Customs Authority will oversee an EU Customs Data Hub which, over time, will replace the existing customs IT infrastructure in the Member States. To find out more about the proposals, please read the press release here. ----- ECTA, through its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, is analysing the proposals and will submit its comments during the consultation period.
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The EUIPO Observatory shared today its 2023 IP perception study about European citizens’ attitudes towards IP, the degree to which they respect these rights, and the concept that they have of IP as a whole. The study is based on 25.824 interviews conducted at the beginning of 2023 in all Member States and shows that Europeans are more wary of counterfeits and illegal content, while price remains a deciding factor, especially among younger ones. According to the report, a vast majority of respondents believe that criminal organisations are behind counterfeits, acknowledge that such purchases harm businesses and employment, as well as support unethical behaviour posing risks to health, safety, and the environment. When it comes to digital piracy, 82% agree that accessing content illegally exposes to scams and inappropriate content for minors. Nonetheless, the study reveals a disconnect between awareness and behaviour. 31% find it acceptable to buy counterfeit products if the price of the original product is too high. 13% of respondents intentionally purchased counterfeits during the past year, Bulgaria being the leading country with 24% of people who responded this way. Additionally, 41% of Europeans are uncertain about the legality of the sources they use online. Despite this, 80% prefer to use legal sources if affordable. To find out more, read the full report here. ----- ECTA, via the work of its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, actively contributes to the fight against counterfeiting by sharing professional experience and best practices at the EU level and beyond, raising awareness and promoting educational activities, as well as through its involvement in the EUIPO Observatory working groups, and constant contact with relevant European and international authorities.
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