Subject: EUIPO – EU International IP Cooperation Newsletter

EUIPO   EU International IP Cooperation Newsletter

This monthly newsletter compiles information on the upcoming and last activities carried out by the EUIPO in the context of the EU-Funded IP projects implemented on behalf of the European Commission.
IP Key Projects 
IPKey China

past activities

Experts workshop on geographical indications
Participants from the DG AGRI, the China National IP Administration, the EUIPO and the EU Delegation to China exchanged knowledge and expertise on important issues for the implementation of the EU-China GIs agreement. The workshop included sessions on key topics such as the consequences of the entry into force of the agreement, the legal and institutional framework of protection of GIs in the EU and in China as well as the EUIPO’s experience of dealing with the co-existence of GIs and trade marks.

Design rights enforcement – enforcing the rights over your ideas at the market
To successfully protect IP in target markets, SMEs should be prepared to enforce their rights. Ultimately, only enforcement of IP rights can halt the infringements. Furthermore, in some countries such as China, if an SME builds a reputation for being litigious then malicious companies might be less likely to infringe their rights in the future. As IP is territorial, only rights that are registered in target markets can be enforced there.

IP Key China supports EU-China Intellectual Property Working Group
The 24th meeting of the EU-China IP Working Group was held in Beijing and online. Established in 2005 at the EU-China Summit, the group was set up to support the EU-China IP Dialogue. This year’s session was co-chaired by DG TRADE and MOFCOM, and supported by IP Key China. Industry participants and representatives of the European Union’s SME had a chance to raise awareness about the issues they face.

IP Key China appreciation lunch
The 24th meeting of the EU-China IP Working Group was held in Beijing and online. This year’s session was co-chaired by DG TRADE and MOFCOM, and supported by IP Key China. Industry participants and representatives of the EU’s SME had a chance to raise awareness about the issues they face. A discussion on IP issues is of the utmost importance in view of challenges faced. Years of effort have allowed some concrete achievements between the EU and China, for example, in early 2021, the EU-China Agreement on GI entered into force and the TMview database administered by the EUIPO integrated over 32 million trade marks made available by the CNIPA, which delivers benefits to businesses and rights holders from both sides. An appreciation lunch was held to express appreciation for the support from stakeholders of the EU and China, in which the importance of IP cooperation was highlighted by relevant parties.
IPKey Latin America

past activities

IP Key LA and INDECOPI present the first economic impact study in Peru
IP Key LA, the Delegation of the EU in Peru and INDECOPI presented the first study on the economic contribution of industrial property in Latin America. This study focuses on the Peruvian economy and is the result of extensive and detailed research, led by economists Italo Muñoz and Victor Revilla.The study highlights the importance that IP-intensive industries have in Peru’s economy, in four different areas: contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), direct and indirect employment, average remuneration, and participation in international trade. This research considers four types of IPRs: patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trade marks.

IP Key LA introduces the fourth Customs and Border Enforcement Workshop
Customs authorities are key players in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting. This is because most infringing goods flooding the markets today are not manufactured in the country where the goods are sold and, therefore, must at some point make their way across borders. For the fourth consecutive year, IP Key LA continued training customs officials to enhance their understanding of the challenges present in the current landscape of international piracy and counterfeiting. These training workshops – as well as cooperation at the international level – are essential for effective border actions.

Enforcement Week Forum 2021 for Latin America
The theme of the conference was enforcement of IP rights, dealt with in four sessions. Firstly, by way of introduction and as a reminder why the enforcement of IPRs is in the interest of society, their economic impact in Latin America was demonstrated. The audience was informed about the threats undermining IPRs as a consequence of the ever-increasing trade in counterfeit products. Experts presented tools and best practices to fight the illicit trade by way of border enforcement. Finally, the floor was open for the audience to debate with the experts and jointly arrive at conclusions.

DNPI Uruguay now aligned with CP6
DNPI of Uruguay has published a Practice Paper concerning the graphic representation of industrial designs, which provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of the principles on which the practice of the DNPI and the IP offices of the EU. It seeks to increase transparency, legal certainty and predictability for the benefit of users and examiners of the IP offices involved. The intention is that it will become a reference for IP offices, as well as for EU and Uruguayan users and other interested parties.

DNPI Uruguay now aligned with CP5
DNPI has published a practice paper on the impact of non-distinctive/weak components of trade marks in the examination of likelihood of confusion (relative grounds for refusal). The publication of this practice paper seeks to increase transparency, legal certainty and predictability for the benefit of the users and examiners of the IP offices involved. It is intended to be a reference for IP offices, users of the EU and Uruguayan IP systems, and other interested party. It also aims to cover a majority of cases.


IPKey South-East Asia

past activities

Webinar on Enforcement of IP Rights in Online Platforms in SEA
This webinar aimed to raise awareness among EU businesses, particularly SMEs, on how to better enforce their IPRs when faced with infringing content in online and e-commerce platforms in SEA. Representatives from DG TRADE and DG GROW, online platforms, and EU IPR owners in SEA participated in the webinar. Representatives from e-commerce and social media websites were invited to present their IP policies and procedures for EU businesses to become familiar with each platform’s requirements.

Conference on Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List
The ‘Conference on Combatting Counterfeiting and Piracy in South-East Asia’ targeted IP and law enforcement authorities. The conference included discussions on the latest edition of the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List, including the concerns of EU stakeholders in each marketplace, namely online service providers, e-commerce platforms, and physical marketplaces located in tourism areas and free trade zones. Best practices and the EU’s policy approaches to combatting counterfeiting in both online and physical marketplaces were shared by the representatives from DG TRADE’s IP Unit, DG GROW’s Intangible Economy Unit, the EUIPO’s EU Observatory on Infringements of IPRs, the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, and Europol’s IP Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3).

Intellectual property rights for SMEs: A roadmap for growth in uncertain times
Every business starts with an idea. That idea is an essential intellectual property asset that can drive business development, economic prosperity and human progress. While the opportunities are enormous, each business, regardless of its size, is focused on a core product or service that differentiates itself from other enterprises and competitors. Protecting an idea is protecting a business and the role that IPR ownership plays cannot be underestimated in securing the future of SMEs. SMEs are the backbone and drivers of the global economy. A 2021 study carried out jointly by EUIPO and the EPO estimates that SMEs that own IPRs have a 68% higher revenue per employee than those without. Measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have had a devastating effect on South-East Asian and worldwide economies. With the ongoing global uncertainty, IPR ownership offers the added potential to future-proof SMEs in terms of resilience, competitiveness and reputation.

Workshops on Advanced Patent Search and Examination
IP Key SEA in collaboration with the EPO organised four editions on different dates of the ‘Workshop on Advanced Patent Search and Examination’ to which Senior patent examiners from the patent offices of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand were invited.
 
Webinars on Plant Variety Protection and UPOV 1991
IPKey SEA organised 'Webinars on Plant Variety Protection and UPOV 1991. This online event was a follow-up to the webinar series organised by the IP Key SEA in collaboration with the CPVO and with the cooperation of the UPOV in November 2020. This webinar series focused on the contribution of plant variety protection to sustainable farming and global food security while reducing the impact on climate change. The webinars also covered the benefits of UPOV 1991 membership for farmers and plant breeders as well as issues concerning plant variety rights protection in South East Asia.

Legal Training on UPOV 1991
IP Key SEA Project organised a ‘Legal Training on UPOV 1991’. Plant variety protection and intellectual property officials underwent a training on the legal provisions of the UPOV 1991 Convention. The training was delivered by experts from the CPVO and the UPOV.

Conference on Combatting Counterfeit Medicines, Medical Devices and Protective Equipment
The conference highlighted the dangers and, at times, fatal risks posed by counterfeit medicines, medical devices and protective equipment, and emphasised the gravity of the problem given its global impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event brought to light the important role that IPRs play in promoting the health and safety of consumers worldwide, as well as the need for international cooperation as the present public health crisis and the dangers brought about by counterfeit medicines remains a global concern.

Workshop on IPR Customs Enforcement: Risk Indicators, Trends and Issues in SEA
IP Key SEA Project hosted a ‘Workshop on IPR Customs Enforcement: Risk Indicators, Trends and Issues in SEA.’ This activity sought to contribute improving the capacities of IP and customs authorities in the SEA countries, and to raise awareness about the latest modus operandi and methods adopted by infringers in the cross-border trafficking of goods. The findings and facts from the recent EU Observatory studies on the common provenance countries, routes and modus operandi in the cross-border trafficking of IPR-infringing goods were discussed at the workshop. The use of the postal system for trafficking small parcels and the issue of goods in transit (or those that are transhipped) as well as counterfeit goods in free trade zones were discussed.



Other International IP Cooperation Projects
ARISE + IPR

upcoming activities

May-December 2021
ARISE+ IPR supports the promotion of the ASEAN Trade Mark Common Guidelines and the ASEAN Design Common Guidelines
In 2020, ARISE+ IPR has provided technical support to the publication, translation, and promotion of two common guidelines developed under the framework of ECAP III Phase II and updated under the framework of the ARISE+ IPR project. The project aimed for the common guidelines, namely the ASEAN Common Guidelines on the Substantive Examination of Trade Marks and the ASEAN Common Guidelines on the Examination and Registration of Industrial Designs, to help improve the quality of examination and registration in the ASEAN countries and ensure transparency throughout the process. The project has coordinated with the ASEAN IP Offices to translate the Common Guidelines into the national languages of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In early 2021, the project prepared printed materials and short videos to be promoted online and offline, so the Guidelines are accessible and used by ASEAN IP Offices, practitioners, and industry.


past activities

Into Thaung Enterprise: from a family sea salt farm to a passionate SME with an IP strategy in mind
Among the cluster of Cambodian sea salt farmers in Kampot province in Southern Cambodia, Thaung Enterprise stands out. The sea salt farm has a history since ancient times - the Angkor era. Currently they offer a variety of Kampot sea salt products, namely fleur de sel, aromatic fleur de sel, flake salt, fine salt, and coarse salt. Thaung Enterprise’s business changed from family business to SME five years ago. Doing business in the global market has become all the more competitive. Consequently, protection of IP rights is an essential part of the company’s process of building a strong brand image.

Attachment training on the Hague Agreement and the Madrid Protocol
In collaboration with the IPOS, ARISE+ IPR organised an online training session on the Hague Agreement operations and another online training session on Madrid Protocol operations. Both these training events provided support to ASEAN Member States in the post-accession implementation of these WIPO-administered international treaties.

EUGIPP

upcoming activities

02 July 2021
Workshop on alternative dispute resolution
The EUGIPP is organising a ‘Workshop on alternative dispute resolution’. The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the mediation and alternative dispute resolution services provided by the EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal and to share best processes and practices with the Georgian counterparts. EUIPO mediators will guide participants through the workshop who will contribute to explore the different principles, roles and techniques of mediation and alternative resolution methods. Participants will also have the chance to participate directly in a practical case study.


past activities

‘Creativity and IP in Georgian schools’ closing event
EUGIPP presented the results of the ‘Creativity and IP in Georgian schools’ activity and the lessons learned for the next academic year. During the event, which officially brought the activity to an end, it was also celebrated the achievements of the students and pupils involved. Representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Education, who have supported the initiative since its inception, attended the event.

Enforcement Forum (session for judges)
IPR enforcement is crucial for the proper implementation of the association agreement between the EU and Georgia. It contributes to create the best possible conditions for European and Georgian companies to invest and trade in the region by ensuring that trade-related rules, including IPR, are respected and implemented. Effective IPR enforcement is essential for innovation-related investments in the region, as it allows innovative companies to recoup their investments in R&D, product design, branding, marketing and other creative or business activities. Under this framework, the EUGIPP organised an ‘enforcement forum’ to gather and engage with Georgian enforcement authorities, judges, along with private sector representatives during a trade mark exhibition. In particular, it contributed to enhance the quality of judicial and administrative procedures in Georgia regarding the enforcement of intellectual property rights. During a specific section dedicated to judges, cases from the Court of Justice of the EU, the courts of EU Member States and the Georgian courts were presented and discussed as a group.

Enforcement Forum
IPR enforcement is crucial for the proper implementation of the association agreement between the EU and Georgia. It contributes to create the best possible conditions for European and Georgian companies to invest and trade in the region by ensuring that trade-related rules, including IPR, are respected and implemented. Effective IPR enforcement is essential for innovation-related investments in the region, as it allows innovative companies to recoup their investments in R&D, product design, branding, marketing and other creative or business activities.
Under this framework, the EUGIPP organised an ‘enforcement forum’ from 14 to 15 June 2021 to gather and engage with Georgian enforcement authorities, judges, along with private sector representatives during a trade mark exhibition. The activity aimed to encourage participants to engage further in enforcing IP rights and promote the use of best practices on border and internal enforcement measures to prosecute IP infringement. In particular, the workshop focused on the exchange of information on legislation and practices for the surveillance of IP infringement at the border, internal and digital markets.



CARIPI

upcoming activities

May-September 2021
Support to local businesses in CARIFORUM: case study & training on business and marketing strategies – ongoing
From organic beauty products to aged rum and hot pepper sauce, CARIFORUM producers have a lot to offer to the international markets. To achieve greater market presence, there is a need for CARIFORUM Origin-Linked Products (OLPs) to be better branded, marketed and promoted. CarIPI is currently collaborating with experts from the region to produce evidence-based data and training targeting BSOs and businesses on how to unlock the potential added value of CARIFORUM Origin Linked Products through the use of branding and marketing strategies.


09 July 2021
Benefits of Geographical Indications to the Regional Rum Sector
CarIPI is collaborating with the West Indies Rum and Spirits Association (WIRSPA) to host a webinar on the benefits of GIs to the regional rum sector. The event aims to raise the awareness of regional rum producers on how IP tools such as GIs can be used to protect, brand and promote their products in the market. It will also provide a platform for discussion of how rum producers can use the IP system at the national level to apply a collective strategy for the IP protection and branding of their products.

12 July 2021
Webinar on the importance and benefits of the international IPR treaties
CarIPI will hold a regional webinar to raise awareness among decision-makers in the CARIFORUM region, and in particular among national EPA Coordinators, on the benefits of the international registrations to facilitate international trade. Speakers from the EU and the CARIFORUM region will touch upon the main IPR treaties, such as Madrid, Hague, Lisbon, and UPOV explaining why it is beneficial for the CARIFORUM States to join them. The membership experience from different countries in the region will be shared.


past activities

Regional workshop on the classification tool: TMClass
CarIPI hosted a regional workshop on TMClass in which the first Caribbean regional interface “Caribbean TM Class” was presented. The occasion also served to share practical knowledge and experience on TMClass with a specific focus on the benefits for IPOs and IP system users, particularly SMEs. Among these benefits, it is clear that a list of accepted terms which are public and clear to all applicants, lead to less errors in the application process and reduce workload for the examiners.

Webinar “The Madrid System in Trinidad and Tobago. A route to global branding for entrepreneurs”
CarIPI hosted a webinar to promote the Madrid International Registration System for SMEs in Trinidad and Tobago, in collaboration with TTIPO. This comes timely after the country’s recent accession to the Treaty, which gives national businesses the possibility to register their trade marks globally. This webinar also served to present the booklet “The Madrid Protocol – A Route to Global Branding for Entrepreneurs” designed by CarIPI to guide entrepreneurs through international registration of their trade marks and serve as a reference document for companies who want to protect their brands in international markets.




AfriPi

past activities

Nigeria’s Trade Mark examiners workshop
Strengthening national and regional IP offices is one of the four main pillars of the IPRs and Innovation in AfrIPI Project. In accordance with this objective, the AfrIPI Project Management team in collaboration with the Nigerian Trademark Registry organised a three-day workshop on absolute grounds, opposition procedure, and GI. The purpose of these workshops was to enhance the capacities of Nigerian examiners, support standard quality procedures and practices, and improve the effectiveness of their IP system.

Harmonisation Workshop in ARIPO
AfrIPI organised a workshop for ARIPO member states on the methodology used to achieve harmonisation in trade mark and design registration practices in Europe in the last decade. 





If you (or your institution) are interested in the implementation of these activities as experts please register in the Call of Expression of interest
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