Transition to the mandatory use of electronic Applications for Action (eAFAs)
Right holders and their representatives are invited to submit only electronical applications for action (eAFAs) to customs through the IP Enforcement Portal or national portals in Germany, Italy and Spain.
We are now at the end of the transition phase where paper AFAs are still accepted by Member States. In 2024, this phase will end and acceptance of paper AFAs will cease afterwards.
The precise date in 2024 will be communicated later, a few months before it becomes mandatory to submit eAFAs.
EU Regulation on GI protection for craft and industrial products entered into force
The Regulation on GI protection for craft and industrial products entered into force yesterday, twenty days past its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
The new Regulation establishes a harmonised framework for the protection of geographical indications for EU craft and industrial products and introduces the opportunity for EU and non-EU countries to obtain a uniform GI protection in the EU. Pursuant to this Regulation, the EUIPO has been designated as the EU competent authority in respect for GIs for craft and industrial products.
The examination and registration process will, normally, consist of two phases (standard procedure):
1. Producers will initiate the filing of their GI applications with the Member States’ designated competent authorities for national level assessment. 2. Successful applications will then be forwarded by national authorities for further evaluation and approval by the EUIPO.
A direct application procedure to the EUIPO (direct registration procedure) will be available for producers of Member States that obtain from the European Commission a derogation from the obligation to set up a national system.
The new system will be applicable from 1 December 2025. From this date onwards, it will be possible to apply for registration of a GI. Existing national rights will cease to exist one year after, on 2 December 2026.
For general information on the legal framework concerning GIs and the new system visit the recently published EUIPO GI Hub.
To read the official news update, please click here.
“The new regulation is a major step towards recognising high quality craft and industrial products manufactured on the basis of their strong link to their geographical origin. Finally, these products will receive the same well-deserved protection as agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks”, says Andrea Ringle, Chair of the ECTA Geographical Indications Committee.
ECTA has contributed regularly with the help of our dedicated Geographical Indications Committee during the public consultations on GI and non-agri GI topics in the recent years. ECTA is also regularly holding GI related events and discussions, including, most recently, the ECTA Alicante Round Table in March 2023 on the GI reform, and a session dedicated to non-agri GIs during the ECTA Annual Conference in Prague in June 2023.
ECTA AWARD: Call for Papers is Open for IP Students and Professionals!
The ECTA Award Competition is Open!
As of today, all IP professionals and students are invited to submit an article or essay of importance for the development of the EU Intellectual Property Law.
Your paper could earn you more than just recognition - it could lead to a monetary prize, an 18-month free ECTA membership, and publication of your work on our website. But that's not all! The winners will be honoured by ECTA President at the ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp on 21 June 2024.
Consult the ECTA Award submission requirements and judging criteria and send your paper to email@example.com by 28 February 2024. Kindly indicate whether you are participating in the Professional or Student category.
All submissions will be judged by the ECTA Professional Affairs and Membership Committee with the support of other Committees and under the supervision of the Board of Directors.
Apply for the new ECTA Patent Committee by 15 December!
As a result of the discussion held by the ECTA governing bodies at the ECTA Autumn Meeting in Turin, we are excited to announce a significant development in our association's scope of activities. ECTA decided to broaden its horizons into the exciting world of patents and establish the ECTA Patent Committee, chaired by F. Peter Müller (Müller Schupfner & Partner, Germany).
This ground breaking decision, from an association traditionally renowned for its expertise in other IPRs, follows recent developments such as the release of the Patent Package by the European Commission and the implementation of the Unitary Patent system.
Through this Committee, ECTA aims to become an expert interlocutor for the relevant institutions, with a focus on patent enforcement. For a detailed description and mission of the Patent Committee, please read here.
IP colleagues are invited to apply to this Committee if they have expertise in two or more of the following fields:
✔ patent litigation experience ✔ knowledge of the UPC system and/or are entitled to be representatives before the UPC ✔ knowledge of international patent enforcement (e.g. Brussels I Regulation, Lugano Convention, etc.) ✔ knowledge of and experience with SEPs ✔ knowledge of and experience with FRAND ✔ knowledge of and experience with compulsory licenses
The Patent Committee is set up as a temporary Committee for the next four years, comprising two terms of two years each, after which the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board will reassess the role of the Committee.
If you are not yet an ECTA member but are interested in serving on the Patent Committee, apply first to become an ECTA member here (the subscription fee will cover the rest of 2023 and 2024) and, in parallel, apply for the Patent Committee here by 15 December!
Don't miss two upcoming webinars in the Data domain, co-organised by ECTA and ASIPI:
1) International Transfer of Data Date: 9 November 2023 Time: 4:00 pm CET Moderator: Jordi Güell (ECTA)
2) Processing of Personal Data by IP Offices: Compared Practices in EUIPO, Spain, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil Register here!
Date: 16 November 2023 Time: 4:00 pm CET Moderator: Sebastian Lovera (ASIPI)
Both webinars will be conducted in both Spanish and English with simultaneous translation.
We are pleased to inform our members that our former Data Committee has expanded its scope to also include AI, and is now known as AI and Data Committee. We would like to express our gratitude to the Committee for their contributions to the organisation of this webinar series in the data domain.