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Today the Council approved the so-called Artificial Intelligence Act, aiming to harmonise rules on artificial intelligence. The legislative act will be published in the EU’s Official Journal in the coming days and enter into force twenty days after this publication. The new regulation will apply two years after its entry into force, with some exceptions for specific provisions. To find out more, please read here.
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ECTA Member’s Voice: New revised regulation on geographical indications for agricultural sector enters into force
By Aitor Pomares, ECTA Geographical Indications Committee Vice-Chair, Berenguer & Pomares abogados, Spain The new revised regulation on geographical indications for agricultural products, wines, and spirit drinks, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23 April 2024, has officially entered into force today. The new Regulation lays down the rules applicable to wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products, consolidating the previously dispersed Regulations into a single legal text. Along with the recently adopted Regulation on GIs for craft and industrial products, the two texts will now govern the EU system of GIs. The already broad scope of protection afforded to these rights is reinforced by including enforcement against conflicting domain names or online practices. In that regard, GIs can now be invoked as earlier rights in domain name disputes, while Member States shall take measures to block access to infringing domain names. Furthermore, the new text ensures better protection for GIs when they are used as ingredients in processed products, while also empowering recognised producer groups with increased control over these practices. In general terms, the role of the producer groups is reinforced by assigning them more responsibilities on the management of their GIs and establishing a clearer a more comprehensive legal framework. Moreover, emphasis is placed on the significance of sustainability. Recognised producer groups have the opportunity to establish agreed-upon sustainable practices to be adhered to in the production. For those purposes, a concise definition of sustainable practices is provided. While the European Commission (DG AGRI) remains responsible for the registration of GIs for these types of products, some tasks are entrusted to the EUIPO, such as establishing and managing a domain name information and alert system, as well as maintaining and keeping the GI register up-to-date with respect to registrations, amendments and cancellations of these names. ECTA Geographical Indications Committee’s comment: “The new Regulation represents significant progress for the protection of GIs, consolidating the EU sui generis system as the most advanced and comprehensively regulated. The industrial property nature of GIs is at the core of this legislative reform, which aims to address certain gaps in the previous regulations, such as in the area of the management of these collective rights or trying to extend protection to all the fields where infringements may occur. ECTA and its Geographical Indications Committee have actively participated in the public consultations that have preceded the adoption of this Regulation, as well as the Regulation on GIs for craft and industrial products. Our position papers on the protection of GIs as ingredients and on the legal framework of the scope of protection of GIs anticipated some of the issues that have been addressed in the new Regulation. The ECTA Alicante Round Table of March 2023 was dedicated to the GI reform, while a session on non-agri GIs was held during the ECTA Annual Conference in Prague of June 2023.” ----- 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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REGISTER NOW and join us at the ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp! As always at the ECTA Annual Conference, our attendees will benefit from the traditional session on the most recent EU case law, this year moderated by Marie-Christine Seiler (Merx Pütz Rechtsanwälte PartmbB, Germany): Introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. My name is Marie-Christine Seiler. I am a German attorney at law and partner in the Munich law firm Merx Pütz Rechtsanwälte, active in IP, health & beauty. I have been an enthusiastic member of ECTA for decades and am currently Vice-Chair of the ECTA Harmonization Committee and part of the ECTA Supervisory Board. I am very much looking forward to moderating the traditional ECTA case law session at the next Annual Conference in Antwerp and seeing you there! Introduce the topic of your Conference session. This session on Friday afternoon will provide you with a compact overview of the latest EU case law with important key decisions of the EUIPO, the GC, the CJEU and the EU trade mark courts. In addition, these decisions will be explained and analysed by three absolute legal experts. Introduce the panel of your Conference session. My panel for ECTA’s case law session is made up of three high-calibre speakers: • Judge Gustavo Andrés Martín, European Union Trade Mark Court, Spain • Virginia Melgar, Chairperson of the 5th Board of Appeal at EUIPO • Alexander von Mühlendahl, German attorney at law at Bardehle Padenberg, DE Why should Conference participants join your session, and to whom in particular will your session be directed? Our EU case law session is clearly a highlight of the ECTA Annual Conference. The judgments and their detailed analyses promise an excellent update of recent key decisions that simply need to be known. The three speakers will report from their practical experience and share their insights. This session is, therefore, of high interest to everyone in the world of IP - from IP beginners to the more experienced colleagues. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? At the ECTA Annual Conference, hundreds of IP enthusiasts and experts meet to exchange ideas and experiences and also to further their legal education. The presentations offered cover basically all areas of IP law, from trade marks, designs, copyright and unfair competition to - brand new - patents, so there is something of interest for everyone. The Conference is also a great opportunity to build and expand your international network of professionals, colleagues and friends and to keep in touch in person. And all this takes place in a marvellous setting in interesting locations and cities, this year in magnificent Antwerp. You won't regret it - be part of it! **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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ECTA MEMBER’S VOICE: Revised Geographical Indication Protection Regime Commenced in New Zealand on 1 May
By Nick Holmes, ECTA member, Davies Collison Cave Law, Australia & New Zealand As of yesterday, 1 May 2024, the use of 1,975 geographical indications was restricted in Aotearoa New Zealand, as its renamed Geographical Indications Registration Act 2006 came into force. This development is based in part upon requirements set out in the European Union-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and is the first time that European geographical indications for goods other than wines and spirits will be protected against misuse in New Zealand. European food and beverage manufacturers may be very happy with this news, particularly as the GI Act includes: 1. automatic and enduring protection of geographical indications covered by the Free Trade Agreement against misuse (including in translation or transliteration); 2. enhanced civil and administrative enforcement regimes, which will allow any person “with an interest in upholding the restrictions on use of the registered geographical indication” to commence proceedings in the High Court to seek relief for a breach of a restriction on the use of a registered geographical indication; 3. the creation of GI officers who can enforce compliance with the restrictions on the use of a registered GI; 4. the implementation of border protection measures to allow for New Zealand Customs to investigate, inspect, intercept and detain goods suspected to breach a restriction on use of a GI. Interestingly, other than in relation to wines and spirits (where the existing procedures continue), it will not be possible to directly register new geographical indications in New Zealand for other agricultural products except through the mechanisms provided in the Free Trade Agreement. Members working with European geographical indication management authorities should now include New Zealand as part of their enforcement efforts, and brand owners seeking to register marks in New Zealand for food and beverages may need to take extra care, to see if their trade mark contains one of the GIs covered by the GI Act. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand has also provided helpful information on these developments, and their impact upon trade mark registration here. ----- 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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EUIPO Report on Green EU Trade Mark Update
On the occasion of the World IP Day, themed ‘IP and SDGs’, the EUIPO has released its latest report on Green EU Trade Mark trends. According to the report, in 2022, green EUTMs increased, constituting 14.5% of all trade marks applications at the EUIPO. Green EUTMs performed better than non-green EUTMs applications, and green EUTMs from EU firms performed better than those from non-EU applicants. Find out more in the full report and executive summary here. The ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp will place a significant focus on sustainability and one of its educational sessions will be dedicated to green trade marks! Find our more about this session in the interview with moderator here!
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Happy World IP Day! Join the Buzz of the ECTA Hive!
Happy World IP Day! This year’s theme is 'IP and Sustainable Development Goals', highlighting how intellectual property can amplify the innovative and creative solutions that are so crucial to building our common future. Sustainability will be the focus of the ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp (19-22 June 2024) and, today, we are thrilled to announce a special initiative: for every Conference attendee 1€ will be donated toward the adoption of an ECTA beehive in Belgium! Bees are the heroes of our ecosystem, fostering biodiversity and playing a pivotal role in pollination and ecological balance. We are happy to cooperate with Bees-Api Brussels, a group of passionate beekeepers, who will establish and be the guardians of our ECTA hive with utmost respect for nature and using sustainable methods that prioritize the health of bees and their habitat. Conference attendees will have the unique opportunity to interact directly with our beekeepers at a dedicated booth in Antwerp, support them, and gain deeper insights into the vital role of bees in our environment. We aspire to make a positive impact through our ECTA community and help preserve the natural beauty of our planet. Join the buzz and BEE an attendee!
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REGISTER NOW for the ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp! We will kickstart the Conference academic program by learning more about IP mediation and ADR in a session moderated by F. Peter Müller, Müller Schupfner & Partner, DE. 1. Introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. My name is F. Peter Müller and I have the honour to moderate the Wednesday workshop on ADR in the IP field together with representatives from the EUIPO and practitioners from the EU, China, and the US. I have been a member of ECTA since 1996 and served as President between 2014 and 2016. Currently, I am Chair of the newly established Patent Committee. I think ECTA is one of the best IP associations in the EU, especially because it brings together business opportunities, scientific discussions on IP, very valuable knowledge for my IP practice and good friends. 2. Introduce the topic of your Conference session. Our workshop delves into mediation and related ADR solutions on IP disputes, including oppositions, revocation actions, infringement actions - covering also patents - and this in an international environment. Speakers will talk about the new EUIPO Mediation Centre, ADR Resolutions in China and the US, the Singapore Convention, offering practical advice for initiating and conducting successful mediations while minimising time and costs. Additionally, attendees will gain insights from successful mediation cases shared by the speakers. 3. Introduce the panel of your Conference session. I am pleased to introduce our distinguished panel: • Sven Stürmann, EUIPO, ES • Michele Ferrante, Ferrante Intellectual Property, CN • Aurélia Marie, Cabinet Beau de Loménie, FR • Lisa Pearson, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, US 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? While tailored for litigators, I also recommend prosecutors to attend to understand what will happen to your IP rights if caught in negotiations. This session is also particularly beneficial for newcomers to ADR and young practitioners, but even experienced litigators might gain some new insights! 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? The ECTA Annual Conference, which I have been attending for nearly 30 years now, offers a wealth of new information on current IP issues, aiding in the design of future applications and refining lists of goods and services. You will gain practical knowledge, which you can use immediately after the Conference. Moreover, you get to know colleagues from all over the world, fostering new business contacts, and the chance to assist EU colleagues, especially in disputes. Beyond its professional benefits, the Conference is always fun and attendees will make many friends there. **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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REGISTER NOW and join us at the ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp! Among numerous interesting panels, our attendees will also discuss around Diversity & Inclusion, fundamental for a forward-looking IP landscape, in a session moderated by Alberto Giordano, Chadha & Chadha, IN. 1. Introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. My name is Alberto Giordano, EU Trade Mark and Design Attorney. In 2020 I joined Chadha & Chadha IP to help foreign companies in protection and enforcement of IP rights in India. From 2021 I am serving the ECTA Programme Committee, and I actively participated in ECTA Conferences and seminars for some years already. 2. Introduce the topic of your Conference session. A world where everyone feels valued, respected and included is still a dream. Despite significant progress over the past years, there is still a lot of work to be done. During the panel, we aim to discuss and explore strategies for cultivating a diverse and inclusive workspace where all voices are heard and acknowledged. 3. Introduce the panel of your Conference session. I will have the pleasure of moderating a panel featuring esteemed professionals from diverse backgrounds: • Deborah Hampton, Trade Mark Team Leader at The Chemours Company, US • Davide Leiballi, EU Trade Mark and Design Attorney at Studio Legale Withers, IT • Roland de Meersman, Managing Director at ABAC-BAAN npo, BE They will share their experience from three different parts of the world, yet inspired by the same commitment to greater inclusivity. I really look forward to discussing with them and engaging with the audience. 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? This session welcomes all colleagues who aim for a brighter, more inclusive and diverse IP landscape and who are eager to share their ideas and experiences. This discussion is a pivotal moment for our association as we delve into D&I discussion for the first time in a Conference session. 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? The ECTA Annual Conference is a key event for IP professionals, offering a rich array of academic sessions and unparalleled networking opportunities. By attending, you will immerse yourself in cutting-edge discussions, make meaningful connections and become part of the vibrant ECTA Family! **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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Register free of charge for the ECTA ®etreat in The Hague 'Moving Beyond the Frontiers of IP' in collaboration with BOIP
Boost your CLE credits by attending the ECTA ®ETREAT in The Hague (18 April), co-organised with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). Register now to secure your place! This year's ®ETREAT is free of charge, do not miss this exceptional opportunity. We will move beyond the frontiers of IP with engaging discussions on: IP Valuation: Why, When, How? (Morning Session) This panel will discuss key aspects of IP valuation that play an important role based on a company's lifecycle. From inception to insolvency, the why, when and how of IP valuation will be addressed, including different methods of valuation and the importance of licensing. This session is moderated by Eline Schiebroek (BOIP, NL) and will feature Pieter Van Den Broecke (Linklaters LLP, BE), Stijn De Nijs (EY Strategy and Transactions, BE), Bart De Moor (Strelia, BE), and Nicole Ockl (TUI, DE). Exhaustion of IP Rights (Afternoon session) With the ECJ decision of 18 January 2024 in case C-367/21 (Hewlett Packard Development Company LP / Senetic S.A.) some IP professionals have referred to the effect of the decision as a paradigm shift, with regards to the burden of proof. The panel will discuss the decision and explore its expected impact on the issue of trade in unauthorized parallel imported products into the EU. This session is moderated by Gie van den Broek (LXA Attorneys, NL) and will feature Pieter Veeze (BOIP, NL), Janette Hamer (Forresters, UK), Maarten Haak (Hoogenraad & Haak, NL). Participants will have ample networking time during the lunch break and a cocktail reception following the ®ETREAT. You can consult the program here. Secure your spot soon, as capacity fills up quickly!
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The 2024 EUIPO Guidelines for examination of EU trade marks and registered Community designs came into force on 31 March 2024. The Guidelines outline the EUIPO’s general instructions to be applied in the most frequent scenarios and adapted to specific cases. Available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, the Guidelines can be accessed in either a clean version or a track-changed version, visible via the ‘show modification’ function, which highlights modifications compared to the previous edition. The EUIPO has also made available a webinar with an overview of the main changes introduced in this new edition. The webinar will answer the following questions: • Where can I find information on means of evidence? • What are the developments of the Office’s practice on virtual goods and non-fungible tokens? • What is seen as ‘best practices’ in proceedings before the Office? • What are the changes in practice brought about by recent case-law? ----- ECTA contributed actively during the last revision cycle of the Guidelines and thanks its members for their active participation.
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EU toolbox against counterfeiting adopted by European Commission
The European Commission has recently adopted a Recommendation to combat counterfeiting both offline and online, also known as the EU toolbox against counterfeiting. The toolbox aims to strengthen the enforcement of IPRs by improving collaboration between right holders, service providers, and law enforcement while encouraging best practices and the use of modern tools and technologies. To find out more about key actions and tools proposed, please consult the official press release here. The European Commission and the EUIPO will monitor the implementation of this Recommendation and will assess its effects within three years from the adoption.
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REGISTER for the ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp!
The 42nd ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp is coming up soon! REGISTER HERE! ECTA members can attend a reduced fee. If you are not a member, JOIN ECTA before registering for the Conference! Known as the city of diamonds, Antwerp offers a radiant setting for exploring the 'Many Facets of IP'. Secure your spot promptly to take advantage of the best pricing! Watch the video teaser of the Conference! The agenda is rich, covering a wide range of interests and with a focus on sustainability - a key for a better future. Check out the programme here, attendance options and prices here. Early Bird ends on 29 March! We have secured a number of rooms at various hotels close to the Flanders Meeting and Convention Centre Antwerp (FMCCA). For details on hotel options and reservation at ECTA rates and conditions, please refer to the confirmation email received upon registration, but hurry, ECTA rooms are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis! Attendees can expect great learning sessions on the latest IP trends and case law, as well as intensive networking in superb venues: welcome reception at Horta Grand Café (sponsored by: ALTIUS, DLA PIPER, ETHIKOS, GEVERS, INTEO, JANSON, KIRKPATRICK, NOVAGRAAF, WIGGIN), Belgian evening in the FMCCA gardens, and Gala Dinner at Handelsbeurs, the world's first purpose-built commodity exchange building. Antwerp's central location allows easy access for many colleagues as it is seamlessly connected by high-speed train to major cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Cologne - and is just a swift 30-minute train trip to/from Brussels International Airport. We eagerly look forward to welcoming you to Antwerp!
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Hurry up, Early Bird pricing ends today - Register Here! This year's academic program includes one of the most compelling topics for IP professionals: AI and data. Engage in a lively discussion during the session moderated by Delia Belciu from DB Law Office, RO. 1. Introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. I am Delia Belciu, attorney-at-law as well as European and Romanian Trade Mark and Design Attorney, currently practicing in Bucharest, Romania. I have been part of the wonderful ECTA Family for many years, and I am currently serving as the Chair of ECTA Artificial Intelligence and Data Committee, as well as a member of ECTA Supervisory Board. 2. Introduce the topic of your Conference session. The topic of the session that I will moderate on 20 June is fascinating, touching one of the most dynamic and interesting current topics, namely Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and data. Indeed, there is no AI without data. During the session, the topic will be explored from different angles. We will address the legislative framework, and discuss the interplay between AI and technology, AI and data, AI and trade marks, designs, copyright, AI and human factor, and how AI is used in practice. 3. Introduce the panel of your Conference session. The panel has stellar professionals who will deliver their valuable perspectives on AI, starting from their practical experience. The speakers of the session will be: • Mr. Geo van Langenhove, Legal & Compliance Manager EURid, Belgium; • Ms. Mary White, Stobbs Ireland Limited, Ireland; • Mr. Frédéric Le Mauff, Senior Corporate IP Counsel, Biomerieux, France; • Ms. Ingrid Mennens, Managing Director, Novagraaf Belgium. 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? Like it or not, ready or not, AI is more and more present in our daily personal and professional lives and it is developing faster than ever. The session is adressed to all participants of the ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp as the topic is relevant to IP professionals across all sectors. The participants to the session will get different perspectives from top-notch professionals on AI, learn about its benefits and some of its possible downsides. 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? I encourage all IP colleagues to register and attend ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp. ECTA is an enriching experience both on a professional and personal level, a big wonderful professional family. On top of it, Antwerp is an amazing city that deserves to be discovered and enjoyed. **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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ECTA Bulletin: the March Edition is Out!
ECTA Bulletin: the March Edition is Out! ✨ Exclusive interviews with João Negrão, EUIPO Executive Director; Mireia Curell, first female ECTA President and Member of Honour, and F. Peter Müller, Chair of the newly created ECTA Patent Committee. ✨ Sneak peek into the upcoming ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp - Don’t miss the Early Bird pricing - Register before 29 March! ✨ Case law on the enforceability of slogans in Germany; the distinctiveness of the Haribo gummy bear, and the intersection of celebrity fame and trade mark protection within the EU. ✨ Articles on geo-blocking and the limits of enforcing copyright protection in the context of the Digital Single Market; the requirement of ‘trade mark use’ in Chinese trade mark practice; trade mark infringements of trade names from the perspective of Turkish Courts; strategies to protect GIs in the US with a focus on wines and spirits, and much more. ✨ ECTA Committee updates and a warm welcome to our new members! The print-friendly version is available for members only in the Library section of the ECTA private site. We thank the ECTA Publications Committee for compiling another great issue. Enjoy reading it!
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EARLY BIRD ENDS SOON on 29 March! Don’t delay and register now to benefit from the discounted rates! Get ready for an enriching educational experience and engaging discussions on captivating topics, such as the role of IP in the food industry. Join us for a dedicated session moderated by Maria Cecilia Romoleroux, CorralRosales, EC. 1. Please introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. I am Maria Cecilia Romoleroux, partner at CorralRosales in Ecuador. I have been an active member of ECTA for many years and currently serve as Secretary of the Programme Committee. 2. Please introduce the topic of your Conference session. The food industry has been evolving not only from a business, commercial, and consumer standpoint but also in terms of legal regulation. Currently, intellectual property plays a vital role in the food industry, in terms of encouraging innovation in goods and technologies and also in the protection of intangible assets, such as industrial secrets and trade marks, through traditional and non-traditional signs, among others. All this and more will be addressed in our panel ‘The many forms of indulgence - The role of IP in the food industry’. Being in Belgium, we will also have some IP insights about beer and chocolate, don’t miss out! 3. Please introduce the panel of your Conference session. It is a privilege to introduce our panellists both from the industry and private practice, who all have a brilliant trajectory and experience in their respective fields: • Maria Antonella Incardona, LUPPI Intellectual Property (Italy) • François Uyttenhove, Senior IP Manager, AB INBEV (Belgium) • Ozgul Gungor, Global IP Manager, GODIVA, Yıldız Holding A.Ş (Turkey) • Ilya Lipaev, IP International Manager, FERRERO (Luxembourg) 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? The food industry is a multifaceted subject, which makes it an attractive topic for all IP professionals, who, through continuous updating and understanding of the industry, will be able to provide highly specialised advice according to the requirements and needs of their clients. 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? ECTA is an opportunity to connect with colleagues and strengthen business relationships and friendships with IP professionals from different parts of the world and with different points of view that nurture and expand our perspective. Add to this the opportunity to be updated on relevant topics of professional interest in a friendly environment and the result is a unique experience not to be missed. See you in Belgium! **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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New EU Design Legislation Adopted by the European Parliament
The European Parliament has adopted the update of the EU design rules last week. ECTA has been an active contributor to the legislative process (alongside INTA and MARQUES) and advocated strongly for a number of changes. This new set of rules addresses among others the emergence of new technologies such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence. EU design protection will now clearly cover new designs beyond physical objects to visualised graphics, arrangements as interior and exterior environments, including also features as moving or transitioning animations. The regulation and directive will enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal. The regulation will start to apply after 4 months and Member States will have 36 months to transpose the directive into their national systems. For more information, please refer to the official press release here. Advocacy Process and Joint Efforts of ECTA, INTA, and MARQUES In recent years, ECTA has been highly engaged in the domain of design, particularly in the ongoing EU Design Reform. This involvement includes active participation in meetings with officials from institutions such as the European Commission, EUIPO, and WIPO, alongside dedicated events, Conference sessions, and significant contributions from our Committees, in particular the Design Committee. ECTA has submitted several individual position papers and other contributions related to designs: a Position Paper on 3D Printing and its Implications on Design Law (see here), a Position Paper on the Interpretation of Technical Functionality under Art. 8(1) CDR (see here), as well as a Position Paper on Rim Design and the Repair Clause (see here). As concern the EU Design Reform, ECTA has regularly engaged in discussions with officials during its Bilateral Meetings with the European Commission and the EUIPO, and has jointly advocated throughout the legislative process with other associations, notably INTA and MARQUES. In July 2018 the three associations submitted a Joint Paper on the Legal Review of the EU Designs System (see here), and in January 2021 Joint Comments on the European Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment (see here). During the Public Consultation in January 2023, joint comments were submitted to review the European Commission’s proposals for a revised EU Designs Regulation and Directive (see here). In June 2023, concrete wording recommendations were provided to the European Parliament for the proposed reform text. Most recently, in October 2023, during the final stages of the legislative process, we offered a joint perspective on the amendments proposed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs and by individual Members of the Parliament (see here). We express our gratitude to the ECTA Design Committee for their significant contributions to the policy initiatives of the association in recent years.
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Join the ECTA Young Professionals Group!
Exciting news! We are happy to introduce the ECTA Young Professionals Group: a new hub for younger ECTA members. Led by our dynamic members, Julie De Blecker and Amelia Skelding, this group is all about fostering fresh perspectives and enhancing networking opportunities. Ready to be part of it? If you are under 38 and keen on joining, submit your candidacy by 3 May and, once accepted, you will get a direct invitation from the group leaders. Don't miss out on this chance to enrich your ECTA experience. Submit your candidacy here.
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Only two weeks left to avail the early bird discount and save €300! Explore the ‘Many Facets of IP’ at the ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp on 19-22 June 2024! REGISTER HERE! Among numerous rinteresting panels, our attendees will also navigate the legal jungle discussing animal trade marks in a session moderated by Anette Henrysson, from aera (Sweden). 1. Please introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. My name is Anette Henrysson, partner and Attorney-at-Law at aera, a European IP consultancy firm. For more than 25 years I have been working with intellectual property rights, in the industry and as legal counsel in private practice. I have been a member of ECTA for a couple of years where I am active as member of the Supervisory Board and the Professional Affairs and Membership Committee. 2. Please introduce the topic of your Conference session. Everybody has a relation to animals and animal signs that are often associated with certain qualities or even referred to as mythical creatures. It is, therefore, not surprising that animal brands have been popular in marketing throughout history. However, gaining and maintaining trade mark protection for animal signs can be a challenge. In this session ‘Light on Animal Trade Marks - Navigating the Legal Jungle’ we will share insights and discuss the most iconic case law considering animal trade marks in the European Union. 3. Please introduce the panel of your Conference session. I am very excited about our distinguished panel. The combination of high-level representation from the EUIPO Boards of Appeal, industry expertise and an attorney from private practice will bring immense experience and different perspectives to the topic. • Member of the 3rd (Designs) and 5th (Trade marks) Boards of Appeal and accredited mediator at the EUIPO, Sergio Rizzo; • Intellectual Property Director Trade Marks at JT International (Switzerland), Ronald van Tuijl; • Managing Partner, Attorney-at-Law and Head of Intellectual Property at Noerr Alicante IP S.L. (Spain), Member of the ECTA Law Committee, Tobias Dolde. 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? All IP practitioners have come across the challenge to assess similarities between trade marks, and to compare animal marks taking into account i.e. the semantic content, can be even harder. I believe that this session will therefore be of interest and is applicable to anyone who wishes to apply for trade mark protection or needs to decide on whether to take action or not, against third party use. 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? In addition to the educational sessions, the ECTA Annual Conference gives you the opportunity to meet and discuss tricky IP issues with your fellow IP professionals from across the world. Altogether, this will ensure that you leave the Conference filled with inspiring take aways. I hope to meet you in Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world! **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the video teaser about the academic program here!**
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AI Act approved by the European Parliament today
By Delia Belciu, AI and Data Committee Chair, DB Law Office, Romania After the agreement reached unanimously with EU countries, the European Parliament has voted with a large majority today, 13 March 2024, the landmark Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) Act, which sets out rules on how AI will be regulated in the European Union with a probable influence around the world. In short, the AI Act establishes obligations for AI based on potential risks and level of impact. For example, certain AI applications such as social scoring, AI used to manipulate human behaviour, etc., will be banned in the European Union, others considered as high-risk will have to comply with strict requirements, while online deepfakes will have to be clearly labelled. The complex path of implementation of the AI Act will be opened soon. To find out more, please consult the official news here.
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Join us at the ECTA 42nd Annual Conference in Antwerp on 19-22 June 2024! REGISTER HERE! We have put together a great high-level educational program and are ready to delve into the ‘Many Facets of IP’ with a special focus on sustainability, in line with 2024 WIPO theme IP & the sustainable development goals. Among numerous interesting panels, we will discuss green trade marks in a dedicated session moderated by Lidy-Anne Jeswiet from Kirkpatrick SA (Belgium). 1. Introduce yourself and your link to ECTA. I am an IP Counsel, Benelux and European Trade Mark and Design Attorney, and CEO of Kirkpatrick S.A. For me, ECTA is the association where you can exchange experiences and gain a broad IP knowledge, network with people with the same IP passion from all over Europe and beyond, and be part of a large IP Family. In addition, contributing to the important role that ECTA plays as a sparring partner, a recognised reference for organisations such as the EUIPO and legislative bodies, is very existing. I am honoured to chair the session ‘Different Shades of Green - Sustainability in Trade Marks’ at this year’s ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp on Thursday, 20 June 2024. 2. Introduce the topic of your Conference session. As the climate crisis comes to a head and there is more and more politicization of environmental and social governance, consumers look for ways to buy more sustainable and businesses to satisfy this demand. Eco-advertising, green marketing campaigns, trade marks ‘going green’, but also greenwashing and the opposite, green hushing, have become commonplace. How do the legislative bodies react? How do businesses find the balance? Can something bad (counterfeit) end up good (responsible disposal)? 3. Introduce the panel of your Conference session. The first speaker will be Peter Johannes Klein, a German attorney at Vossius. He is specialised in trade mark, design, competition, food and internet law, and has a great deal of experience in litigation. He has also successfully litigated many authoritative cases related to greenwashing and sustainability claims. Our second speaker will be John Wilks, a solicitor at DLA Piper UK LLP, who has extensive experience in a range of domestic and international intellectual property issues, advertising and marketing law, breach of confidence and data protection work. He is very much concerned about greenwashing and will give us the UK setting. The third speaker is Sara Citterio, General Counsel at the Italian well known luxury fashion house Trussardi in Milan, who is prepared to talk about her practice, sustainability policies and ways of working in the current ‘green’ trade mark landscape. Ronald Brohn, Managing Director of REACT, The Netherlands, will be our fourth speaker. Since 1991 he is the director and founder of REACT, The European Anti-Counterfeiting Network, a worldwide anti-counterfeiting network for more than 340 multinationals, involved in numerous seizures and the destruction of counterfeit goods. 4. Why should Conference participants join your session, and at whom in particular will your session be directed? This session offers relevant, current, and multifaceted discussions suitable for all professionals, particularly those interested in a sustainable (IP) world. 5. Why should IP colleagues register for the ECTA Annual Conference? The Conference offers excellent educational opportunities and a chance to connect with the IP community of the EU and beyond, whether it is making new acquaintances or reuniting with old IP friends. Plus, the ECTA Conference is always fun, and Antwerp is a fantastic city! **Find out more about the other educational sessions here or watch the teaser on the academic program here!**
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