• Australia Joins TMview Search Tool
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    As of 6 April 2020, IP Australia has made its trade mark data available to the TMview search tool. With IP Australia on board, the tool now contains data from 74 participating offices providing information and access to more than 59.1 million trade marks in total. An improved version of TMview was launched in April 2020 with new features, a user-friendly interface and an enhanced search experience.

  • Unified Patent System: German Government Announces Support after Court Decision
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    On 20 March 2020, Germany’s constitutional court has ruled that the nation’s ratification of a long-planned Unified Patent Court (UPC), which would create a single legislature for the whole of Europe to decide on patents, was unconstitutional. In its reasoning, the Senate stated that, in order to safeguard their right to influence the process of European integration by democratic means, this, in principle, also entails the right of citizens that sovereign powers be conferred only in the ways provided for by the Basic Law. An act of approval to an international treaty that has been adopted in violation thereof cannot provide democratic legitimation for the exercise of public authority by the EU or any other international institution supplementary to or otherwise closely tied to the EU. As a reaction to the decision, the German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christine Lambrecht, promised to continue to work towards a single European patent and a European Patent Court. The Federal Government will carefully evaluate the decision of the Constitutional Court and examine possibilities to remedy the identified issues before the end of the legislative period (see official press release in German). The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, commented: “IP-intensive industries contribute 45% of GDP in the EU annually and 39% of all jobs. But sadly, we know that employment and growth are predicted to suffer badly in the aftermath of the Coronavirus. So it’s important that now, more than ever before, measures are taken to support our industries. And we know that the UP and UPC can indeed provide that support, with reduced costs, simplified administration and greater legal certainty. (…) The statement by the German government makes it clear that approval of the UPC Agreement with the required parliamentary majority is still possible. So it is time to act. It is time to make the long-awaited UPP a reality, for the good of our innovation sector, for the good of our businesses and industries, and for the good of our economy.” The UPC Agreement was signed in February 2013, and had to be ratified by 13 EU member states, including the three largest patenting countries. It would set up a single court, with branches across Europe, to hear disputes on the validity and infringement of European patents. Germany’s ratification would have brought the UPC into effect, but the president suspended ratification pending the Court’s decision. Separately, the UK recently said that it will not take part in the UPC after Brexit.

  • New Report by EUIPO and OECD on Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    A new report released yesterday by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates the total value of counterfeit pharmaceuticals traded worldwide to be up to EUR 4.03 billion. Customs seizure data analysed in the study, which covers the period 2014-2016, shows that counterfeit antibiotics, lifestyle drugs and painkillers were the most frequently encountered. However, other medicines like counterfeit cancer treatment medication, diabetes treatment drugs, local anaesthetics, malaria treatment drugs, HIV treatment drugs, and heart disease medication were also seized by customs officials.

  • 4 Reasons 4 Copyright: New Interactive Guide for SMEs
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    Copyright exists automatically in original creative works without the need of official registration. It grants authors moral and economic rights, including lengthy protection from unauthorised copying and use. Once again, the European IP Helpdesk teamed up with 4iP Council, a European not-for-profit dedicated to developing high quality academic insight and empirical evidence on topics related to intellectual property and innovation, to develop a new interactive guide helping innovative European businesses to understand the strategic value of copyright as an intellectual property tool.  The guide identifies four key benefits of copyright: competitive edge, reputation, collaboration and funding, and breaks these down simply into methods for value-creation with clickable case studies, orientation links, examples and facts.  This new interactive guide is the sequel to 4 Reasons to Patent launched in May 2019. The guide was created with input from ASTP, Bournemouth University, the European IP Helpdesk, GRUR, the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) as well as contributions from 4iP Council’s network of academics and IP practitioners. More guides will be released on the 4SMEs website area in the future. About 4iP Council 4iP Council is a European research council dedicated to developing high quality academic insight and empirical evidence on topics related to intellectual property and innovation. Follow 4iP Council on Twitter at @4ipcouncil.

  • Webinar Recording: Videogaming and IP
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    Behind every video game, there is an intricate bundle of technical and non-technical IP rights. Against the background of a rapidly evolving design, development and commercialisation landscape, identifying what to protect and how to protect it can be something of a challenge. On 25 February 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) hosted a webinar focusing on the technical and non-technical IP rights involved in video games. The webinar features Stephan Hanne from the EUIPO’s International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department and Peter Verhoef from the EPO and is now available online.

  • New Online Tool to Validate Business Ideas
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    There is a new free online e-learning course designed to introduce researchers and students to entrepreneurship and guide them through the main steps of how to validate the business potential of their idea. Starting from the market discovery, the researcher/student learns and applies fundamental concepts through a series of lessons that include both learning material and exercises. The tool has been developed by Roma Tre University (Italy), in partnership with the National University of Ireland – Galway, IESE business school and Venture Hub (Spain), Translated (Italy) and the European Young Innovators Forum (Belgium), in the framework of an EU-funded project called STARTED. The aim of the project is to reinforce and structure a European network for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the R&D area while improving the flow of knowledge and win-win cooperation between universities, research institutes and businesses. The course is free, please use the link below to join the platform. The STARTED project also established a database of more than 600,000 innovative organisations throughout Europe. It can be particularly useful for people that are looking for competitors and innovations in a specific industry or country. The link can be found below.

  • EPO Study: Patent Enforcement in Europe
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    A newly published guide by the European Patent Office (EPO) gives you an overview of the measures available to protect patent rights across the EPC contracting states along with the relevant national enforcement procedures. On an international level, the TRIPS Agreement sets out various enforcement procedures that right holders can rely on to protect their IP rights. In the EU, the Enforcement Directive sets out measures as well as remedies the courts may order in IP cases. However, the manner in which enforcement is carried out differs from country to country. This compilation of country profiles provides a comprehensive insight into national enforcement practices and procedures in the EPC contracting states. It complements the “Patent litigation in Europe” book.

  • Applications welcome from startups and SMEs with innovative solutions to tackle Coronavirus outbreak
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    The European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply urgently to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council. The deadline for applications is Wednesday the 18th of March. For more information, please check the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/startups-and-smes-innovative-solutions-welcome-2020-mar-13_en

  • Out Now: EPO Patent Index 2019
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    The demand for European patents continues to grow: The European Patent Office (EPO) has now published its Patent Index 2019 reveiling interesting figures regarding patent applications and trends in Europe. In 2019, the EPO received over 181 000 applications, 4% more than in 2018 and a new all-time high. Growth was mainly fuelled by the strong increase in filing volumes from China, the US and South Korea, with patent applications from the EPO countries also growing. This confirms that the European market remains key to the global economy’s ongoing digital transformation. It also shows that digital communication became the new leading field of patent applications at the EPO while computer technology was the second fastest growing.

  • CPVO Leaflet: Protecting New Plant Varieties in Europe
    on 7 April 2020 at 11:46

    The Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR) system is the largest and most efficient regional system for plant variety rights’ protection in the world. Over the past 25 years, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) processed nearly 70,000 applications and granted over 53,000 plant variety rights titles. At the occasion of CPVO’s 25th anniversary, they have now published a leaflet compiling information about the the CPVR system and, in particular, relevant explanations detailing:   Why Intellectual Property rights for the protection of new plant varieties is relevant to address today’s global demands and challenges What are the benefits of the CPVR system managed by the CPVO How to file applications for Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR) How are applications processed by the CPVO What are the key statistics for the period 1995-2020, including the top species that have been granted CPVR protection over the past 25 years.