• Out Now: WIPO Global Innovation Index 2020
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    Who will finance innovation? On 2 September 2020, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released its Global Innovation Index 2020 presenting the latest global innovation trends and the annual innovation ranking of 131 economies. The theme of this year’s GII – Who Will Finance Innovation? – is timely given the human and global economic damage wreaked by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many governments are setting up emergency relief packages to cushion the impact of the lockdown and face the looming recession. But the GII 2020 advises that further rounds of support must prioritize and then broaden support for innovation, particularly for smaller enterprises and start-ups that are facing hurdles in accessing rescue packages. “The rapid, worldwide spread of the coronavirus requires fresh thinking to ensure a shared victory over this quintessential global challenge,” says WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Even as we all grapple with the immediate human and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments need to ensure that rescue packages are future oriented and support the individuals, research institutes, companies and others with innovative and collaborative new ideas for the post-COVID era. Innovations equal solutions.” In its associated annual ranking of the world’s economies on innovation capacity and output, the GII shows year-on-year stability at the top, but a gradual eastward shift in the locus of innovation as a group of Asian economies – notably China, India, the Philippines and Viet Nam – have advanced considerably in the innovation ranking over the years. Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., U.K and Netherlands lead the innovation ranking, with a second Asian economy – the Republic of Korea – joining the top 10 for the first time (Singapore is number 8). The top 10 is dominated by high-income countries.

  • Personalised IP Support Service by EUIPO
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is providing new support services to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) emerge stronger from the current crisis. With the new “Ideas Powered for Business” hub, smaller companies can get tailored assistance to properly use and exploit their intellectual property rights (IPR), find the fastest route to register trade marks or designs, and request free IP support and information on IP.

  • EUIPO Joins WIPO Digital Access Service
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

     As from 11/7/2020 the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will become an Office of First Filing, making priority documents for designs (RCD) available in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Digital Access Service (DAS). The WIPO service helps you meet the Paris Convention’s requirements for providing priority and similar documents to participating offices, without the need to obtain and send multiple certified paper copies of an application. Instead, simply ask the office where you are claiming the priority (the Office of Second Filing) to directly download a copy of the document from DAS. By agreeing to allow the EUIPO to send a record of your RCD application (first filing) to WIPO, the EUIPO will provide you with a DAS code that can be used to claim priority for subsequent filings made with other participating intellectual property (IP) offices. To use this feature, applicants should leave the corresponding checkbox ticked in the EUIPO RCD e-filing form (see below). Upon completing the RCD e-filing, the DAS code will be provided in the application receipt, which is generated upon the submission of the application online. The corresponding DAS code can then be used to claim priority for subsequent filings made to other IP offices.

  • EPO: Extended Resources for Fight against Coronavirus
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has expanded its resources for researchers working on technologies to fight the coronavirus: Innovation is one of humanity’s best tools to fight the threat of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Technologies that have been developed in response to earlier pandemics, e.g. the HIV pandemic and the influenza pandemic of 1968, can already save lives today. Massive R&D investments are now being directed towards developing new technology responses to the virus, and the leap in COVID-19 related innovations is reflected in every imaginable sector from pharmaceuticals to disinfectants and from IT diagnostics to smart furniture. Patents play an important role in this context: According to a recent EPO announcement, there are now almost 150 prepared patent search statements to run in Espacenet, helping to share the latest patent information and knowledge on technologies which are useful in combating the virus. Comprehensive patent searches for applications in all areas of technology can be delivered in 4,4 months on average. For applicants who require a fast track patent procedure, regardless of the technology they are developing, the EPO offers accelerated prosecution of European patent applications free of charge.

  • EUIPO: Launch of Strategic Plan 2025
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) begins its next strategic cycle with the launch of its Strategic Plan 2025. It consists of projects and activities grouped under three strategic drivers, linked to an overarching vision of ‘delivering IP value for businesses and citizens in Europe.’ The first strategic driver centres on the Office’s cooperation activities both in the EU and globally, and includes both the improvement of existing tools and services and the development of new ones. It also encompasses support for IP enforcement throughout the EU. The second driver focuses on providing advanced customer-centric services by leveraging new technologies and working methods to increase the quality of the Office’s existing products and services.   The third driver includes the integration of state of the art digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and blockchain into the Office’s activities, to increase its innovative capacity. In addition, in response to the COVID-19 crisis and in the framework of the EU’s actions to combat it, the EUIPO has today launched the Ideas Powered for Business hub, which is aimed at SMEs. The hub contains a number of services for smaller businesses, including information on trade marks and designs and e-learning. The hub is also the access point to free personalized intellectual property support, which, depending on the case, can include a new IP pro-bono scheme, which matches firms with legal experts or an effective dispute resolution service. The Ideas Powered for Business hub is a first delivery of the SME Programme, a key project under the Strategic Plan 2025, which aims to assist small and medium enterprises to get the most out of their IP.

  • EPO Launches New Platform to Help Researchers in the Fight Against Coronavirus
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a new, expanding “Fighting coronavirus” platform designed to help researchers and decision-makers benefit from patent information in their fight against the new coronavirus. The first data sets released on this platform concerns antiviral vaccines and pharmaceutical therapeutics, with more resources to be released in the coming weeks covering, for example, diagnostics and medical technologies and devices. EPO patent examiners and analysts who are experts in these technologies have created a variety of search statements to help scientists and decision-makers identify the most relevant documents and innovations in these technical fields. These search strategies are especially suited to run on the EPO’s free to use online patent search interface: Espacenet. This public database contains more than 120 million documents from more than 100 intellectual property authorities around the world. For applicants who require a fast track patent procedure, regardless of the technology they are developing, the EPO offers accelerated prosecution of European patent applications.

  • European Patent Office Annual Review
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    The number of new patent applications reached an all-time high in 2019, according to the European Patent Office (EPO). 181,406 applications were registered in 2019, which is an increase of 4.0% over the previous year. In addition, 421,250 search, examination and opposition products were performed by patent examiners and 137,787 European patents were published (+8% increase to 2018). “All of the achievements of 2019 have helped to make sure the European patent system serves European innovators and society, and is attractive also to other regions. And, importantly, these changes set us up to face the challenges of 2020 – and  to face them successfully, with quicker decision making, more agile and collaborative structures, and digital preparations that have enabled our staff to work from home” said EPO President António Campinos. This is the first review that was influenced by the new Strategic Plan (SP2023) launched in June 2019.  Major progress has been made for all 5 goals of the SP2023 in 2019, according to António Campinos: “This Annual Review reports on those initial achievements, driven by the surge of energy, creativity and engagement nurtured by SP2023. The report forms an essential pillar of our transparency and openness as we progress towards achieving our goals.”

  • Trademarks: The Face of Your Business
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    Trademarks might be one of the best-known Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). From a consumer perspective, consciously or  unconsciously, we are all drawn by our favourite brands and the values associated with it. From a business perspective, your trademark is the face of your business. A trademark allows customers to distinguish your products or services from those of your competitors, giving your SME the possibility to improve the marketing of its goods/services. Trademarks are also seen as a guarantee of consistent quality. Indeed, if customers had a great experience with your service or enjoyed the quality of the products they purchased, they will be loyal to you and continue to purchase based on the quality expectations. As you can see, even in the absence of other IPRs, a solid trademark strategy can help business owners shape a distinctive and strong company image on the market. Therefore, you should take great care in choosing and designing an appropriate trademark, protecting it, use it diligently in advertising, and monitoring the market for any potential infringement.

  • European Innovation Scoreboard 2020: EU’s Innovation is Increasing
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    Earlier this week, the European Commission released the European Innovation Scoreboard 2020, which shows that Europe’s innovation performance continues to improve across the EU, for the second year surpassing the United States. However, more needs to be done to catch up with global innovation leaders like South Korea, Australia and Japan. The results, which cover data from 2019, highlight the opportunities to better coordinate EU innovation policies, help Europe improve its global competitiveness and strengthen the key role innovation plays in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “This year’s scoreboard shows that the EU is already a good place to do innovation, but we need to further step up efforts across the EU to find global solutions to contain the virus, and at the same time, help Europe’s recovery from the crisis. More than ever, innovation is important since it lies at the heart of our efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic.” Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The EU is leading the way out of the coronavirus crisis by intensifying its support to research efforts and bringing together diverse players of the innovation ecosystems, from both the public and private sector, that can transform new ideas into reality and improve the life of citizens. Post-Covid EU will be stronger and more united than ever before leveraging its creativity and innovation performance as this year’s Scoreboard highlights”.

  • Study on the IP Implications of Industrial 3D Printing
    on 20 September 2020 at 15:48

    This European Commission study analyses the IP implications of the development of industrial 3D printing clarifying how the existing IP framework brings protection to IP rights holders. It identifies potential challenges and how they can be removed and opportunities in need of clarification in order to aid the competitiveness of the AM sector in Europe. The focus is on seven industrial applications of AM: health, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods/electronics, energy, industrial equipment and tooling and construction and building sectors.   The report identifies the pertinent IP considerations according to different elements in the 3D printing process, i.e. designing a CAD file, using and sharing a CAD file, printing the CAD file, distributing the printed good and finally, licensing it.