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ECTA Member’s Voice: UK Parliamentary Bill ‘the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill’ or ‘REUL’
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
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
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
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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
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
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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SME Fund - Reopening of Voucher 1
The SME Fund is a grant scheme implemented by the EUIPO and designed to help EU SMEs protect their IPRs. Voucher 1 (to partially cover IP Scan, trade mark and design fees) was reopened yesterday, after a temporary closure caused by budget exhaustion for the numerous applications received. Funds from expired vouchers that have not been used or have been partially used, have been decommitted and are now available to be used. SMEs and representatives are now able to submit new applications and/or submit those they have kept in draft in their user area. The applications for Voucher 2 (to use for patent fees) are still open. The application period for both vouchers is foreseen to close on 16 December 2022, depending on whether funds will be available at the time. Funds are indeed limited and available on a first come, first served basis. ---- 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.
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Madrid System: Changes to Regulations - Appointing Representatives and Renewals
As communicated by WIPO, a number of changes to the Regulations under the Madrid Protocol have recently entered into force: 1) Appointing representatives It is no longer possible to appoint a representative through a signed letter. All requests should now be made using the online service Manage your Representative, available under eMadrid. Although it is still possible to appoint representatives using downloadable Madrid System forms, it is highly recommended to proceed via eMadrid. Applicants can still appoint a representative at the time of filing an international application (eMadrid or Form MM2); new holders (transferees) can use Change in Ownership under eMadrid (or Form MM5). 2) Renewals It is now possible to renew international registrations as early as six months before the expiry date, although the renewal date will still coincide with the expiry date. After payment of all fees, the renewal will be recorded, the renewal certificate will be issued, and all designated Madrid System members will be notified. To make sure all updated information is included in the renewal certificate, any changes to the international registration must be made before the renewal through eMadrid. To read the official WIPO news, please click here. ----- The ECTA WIPO-Link Committee and International Trade Committee, inter alia, have advocated for these changes over the past years during our regular Bilateral Meeting with WIPO and are pleased to see these developments.
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Ukraine: Extension of time limits
A new three-month extension (Decision No EX-22-9 of the EUIPO Executive Director) has recently been granted for all parties in proceedings before the Office having their residence or registered office in Ukraine. This extends all time limits expiring between 2 November 2022 and 1 February 2023, inclusive, until 2 February 2023.
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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 November schedule of the webinars is as follows: Tuesday 8 November, 10:00-11:00 (CET): Blockchain in the EU and the IP sector - Intermediate Tuesday 15 November, 10:00-11:00 (CET): The Metaverse – is it relevant for your (IP) strategy? Tuesday 29 November, 10:00-12:00 (CET): BOA Track on Case Law: Boards of Appeal decisions and GC/CJ judgments (2022 Q3 and Q4) - Advanced 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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Last week, ECTA and WIPO held their Bilateral Meeting at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva to discuss topics of mutual interest and importance, such as, among others: • WIPO's main developments and plans, particularly in the context of the UDRP, new filing portal, technological developments and AI-based tools; • Update on Madrid and Hague systems developments, also following recent China’s accession to the Hague system; • WIPO update on the Lisbon Agreement and information about treatment of non-agri GIs; • Frequent challenge by WIPO of the classification suggested by the Office of Origin and the applicant; • and a number of other practical IP topics. ECTA was represented by Mladen Vukmir (President), Paola Ruggiero (Second Vice-President), Anna Ostanina (Head of Legal Affairs), Bernard Volken (WIPO-Link Committee Chair), Valeria Conidi (WIPO-Link Committee Vice-Chair), and Julien Scicluna (International Trade Committee Chair and SME Task Force member). We are extremely grateful to WIPO for the very productive meeting and for the fruitful cooperation and open dialogue we have established over the past years.
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JOIN ECTA NOW! 2023 Membership + Remainder of 2022
This is the most convenient time of the year to join ECTA! If you become a member now, your membership subscription will cover not only 2023, but also the remainder of 2022. Select the membership category that suits you best and start benefitting from the advantages of being a member! 🟢 Opportunity to network with IP professionals from all around Europe and beyond in a friendly atmosphere; 🟢 Reduced fee for the ECTA Annual Conference and all other ECTA events, such as the Alicante Round Table, the ®etreat and all workshops, webinars and debates organised throughout the year; 🟢 Opportunity to join one of the ECTA Committees during the next General Committee Elections in early 2023! You will be able to follow policy developments on your topic of interest, work on impactful projects and represent ECTA in working groups with EUIPO, WIPO and the European Commission. The Supervisory Board and Committee members only will additionally meet at the ECTA Autumn Meeting; 🟢 Access to the ECTA private site to consult the membership list, follow the work of Committees, read past position papers and projects, among other features. Access to the ECTA Member Guide App to have ECTA always in your pocket; 🟢 Last but not least, you can get yourself noticed in the IP Community by contributing to the ECTA Bulletin and ECTA Member’s Voice news section on our website. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the ECTA family! Should you have any questions, contact us at
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Latest package of sanctions by the Council against Russia. Implications on IP practitioners.
By Bartosz Fert (ECTA International Trade Committee Vice-Chair) The Council of the EU has recently adopted the next set of sanctions in view of Russia’s escalating aggression against Ukraine and other actions undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine. The sanctions entered into force on 7 October 2022 and will have a direct implication on IP legal practitioners. In particular, it is prohibited to provide, directly or indirectly, legal advisory services to legal persons, entities or bodies established in Russia (article 5n of the Council Regulation 833/2014). According to the preamble of the Council Regulation 2022/1904, these services shall be interpreted as: ‘provision of legal advice to customers in non-contentious matters, including commercial transactions, involving the application or interpretation of law; participation with or on behalf of clients in commercial transactions, negotiations and other dealings with third parties; and preparation, execution and verification of legal documents. It does not include any representation, advice, preparation of documents or verification of documents in the context of legal representation services, namely in matters or proceedings before administrative agencies, courts or other duly constituted official tribunals, or in arbitral or mediation proceedings.’ Practitioners rendering such services are advised to consult the exceptions listed in the article 5n of the Council Regulation 833/2014 and the applicable law of the EU member state implementing this Regulation. Special attention should be given to any services rendered outside the legal representation, such as trade mark screening or drafting legal opinions in IP matters. It appears that these new sanctions do not stop European practitioners from representing Russian entities before National Courts, IP Offices or the EUIPO in trade mark prosecution/maintenance matters, which would also include opposition or cancellation actions. However, legal opinions not directly linked to judicial or administrative matters are forbidden. In this sense, one may question the ability for IP practitioners to perform a trade mark search on behalf of a Russian entity or conduct out of court litigations or sign a coexistence agreement. In case of doubt, it is strongly advised to refer the matter to the competent professional organization to which the practitioner is affiliated.
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The October ECTA Bulletin is out!
Read the October edition of the ECTA Bulletin! What’s in it? 🔹 Interviews to new ECTA President Mladen Vukmir and Second Vice-President Paola Ruggiero; 🔹 Articles about the protection of trade marks with reputation and design protection of iterations, the rise in counterfeiting and bad faith filings in India during COVID-19, and the upcoming mandatory recordal of IPRs for goods imported into Kenya; 🔹 Case-Law reports: Amsterdam Criminal Court against counterfeiters of Canada Goose, Parajampers and Stone Island jackets, free of charge assignments of IPRs considered as donations by the Paris Judicial Court of First Instance, and the CJEU Classic Coach case on earlier rights; 🔹 A summary of the ECTA ®etreat in Milan and the ECTA 40th Annual Conference in Copenhagen, ECTA Committees’ insights and a warm welcome to new members. Last but not least, everything you need to know about ECTA General Committee Elections to be held in early 2023. The print-friendly pdf version is available for members in the private site/Library.
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ECTA AWARD: Call for papers is open!
ECTA invites all IP students and professionals to participate in the ECTA Award! As of today, you can submit an article or essay of importance for the development of the EU trade mark, design, copyright or geographical indications law. The winners will receive a sum of 2.000 € for the first prize in the student category, 3.000 € for the first prize in the professional category and 1.000 € and 500 € respectively for the second and third prizes in both categories. All winners will be granted 18 months of ECTA membership and their paper will be published on our website. First prize winners shall also be invited to the ECTA Annual Conference in Prague (28 June - 1 July 2023) and honoured by the ECTA President. Consult the ECTA Award submission requirements and judging criteria and send your paper to by 28 February 2023. All submissions will be judged by the ECTA Professional Affairs Committee with the support of other Committees and the supervision of Board of Directors. We are looking forward to receiving your papers!
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ECTA Workshop on the Metaverse and NFTs in Ljubljana (14 October 2022)
Register for the workshop ‘Metaverse and NFTs: How not to get lost’ on-site only in Ljubljana (Grand Hotel Union, White Hall, 14 October 2022, 16.00-18.00 CET)! Chris Hoole (Appleyard Lees, UK) will moderate a panel of experts comprised of Laurent Nowak (Plasseraud IP, FR), Myrtha Hurtado Rivas (Nestlé, CH), Marie-Laure Bonnaffous (Luxottica, IT), and Leila Fisher (The Golden Sturgeon, BE). This workshop forms part of the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Ljubljana, a two-day ECTA event reserved for ECTA Supervisory Board and Committee members. The workshop is free of charge and will be on-site only (no broadcast will be provided). If you are not attending the Autumn Meeting but wish to register for the workshop ONLY, please do so HERE. ECTA Supervisory Board and Committee members who are registered for the Autumn Meeting do NOT need to register separately for the workshop!
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SAVE THE DATE - ECTA 41st Annual Conference ‘Exploring IP Magic’ in Prague on 28 June - 1 July 2023.
We are pleased to invite you to save the date for the ECTA 41st Annual Conference ‘Exploring IP Magic’ in Prague on 28 June - 1 July 2023. Early bird registration will be open at the beginning of 2023.
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The EUIPO Observatory has recently released the 2022 Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard, a follow-up to the 2016 and 2019 editions. This new edition’s data, collected from 8.372 SMEs in the 27 EU Member States, shows that only 10% of European SMEs registered IPRs. Nonetheless, almost all (93%) experienced a positive impact of registration on their business, namely an improved reputation or image of the company, better IP protection, better long-term business prospects, and financial gain from their registered IPRs. The reasons for not registering are that SMEs do not see additional benefits from registering IPRs (35%), they don’t consider their intellectual asset innovative enough for IP protection (20%), they lack knowledge (19%) or registration requirements are not met (19%). Also, 15% of SMEs with registered IPRs have suffered a loss of turnover and reputation due to IPRs infringement and decided to enforce them. Such data are key to implementing the European Commission’s SME strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe and IP action plan, as well as EUIPO’s initiatives aimed at supporting European SMEs. To read the full report, please click here. To read the executive summary, please click here. To consult the infographics please click here. --- 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.
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The EUIPO Observatory has released four new publications, namely: 1) The Economic performance of IPR indicators, June 2022 update which presents the results for the second quarter of 2022 for all IPRs (trade marks, designs, patents, copyright). 2) The Transport and Logistics Discussion Paper which analyses trends, challenges as well as existing and developing good practices to prevent the misuse of these intermediary services for IP-infringing activities. 3) The IPR Intensity and Industrial dynamics report which analyses the interplay between changes in IPR intensity and the evolution of EU industries. Innovation is the most likely factor contributing to the increase in productivity and more intense IPR activity. 4) The Automated Content Recognition Phase 2 Discussion Paper - ‘IP enforcement and management use cases’ which focuses on the uses of ACR technologies (watermarking, fingerprinting, AI-based solutions) and their potential as tools to support IPRs protection and management, through a series of use cases. To read these new reports, please follow this link to the Observatory publications page.
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Read the ECTA Design Committee Working Paper on Graphical User Interfaces
Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) allow users to interact with graphics appearing on electronic devices (e.g. smartphones), typically by clicking on the screen icons to execute commands of the program or, in extension, the device. GUIs are then directly connected to user experience with a relevant impact on the consumers' choice of products and companies devote significant resources to their development. This means that appropriate IP protection of GUIs is a relevant economic issue and, according to recent WIPO statistics, this is among the fastest-growing areas of design applications. In light of this, the Design Committee has worked on a paper which explains the current state of play of GUIs and their eligibility for design protection, regardless of the possibility of claiming copyright protection in some cases. The paper also focuses on the most relevant challenges users can face when obtaining protection, as well as addresses those posed by animated GUIs and the problematic limitation of the number of views when representing designs in applications. The relationship of GUIs with the physical product to which it is applied is also a key aspect to be considered by users. Other practical aspects for design applications for GUIs are highlighted by way of example. Particularly, in an international context, special requirements in different jurisdictions should be born in mind when devising a filing strategy to obtain protection. The paper is available for ECTA members only in the Private Site/Library/Project Reports. ------- We thank the ECTA Design Committee Leaders, project leaders Luis Soriano Albert (Hoffmann Eitle | Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB, DE) and Emanuel Boesch (Hule Bachmayr-Heyda Nordberg Rechtsanwälte GmbH, AT) and all team members of the working group, who brought this project to fruition for the benefit of the ECTA community.
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