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The Internet has created plenty of opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as it has revolutionised the dynamics of international commerce and is an excellent means to boost brand visibility.

The Internet acts as a gateway for SMEs, but it is also an ideal platform for infringers to sell counterfeit products and commit fraud. One of the most significant challenges related to Internet fraud is cybersquatting.

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The present fact sheet focuses on joint ventures (JV) and will put forward some practical and legal issues, mainly from the perspective of the ownership and exploitation of IP, to be considered at all stages of these projects. It tries to point out that if organisations anticipated and properly managed most of the legal risks, they would be able to maximise the financial gains that such settlements are aimed at.

This fact sheet outlines the purpose and scope of the plan for the use and dissemination of foreground (PUDF). Practical hints and best practices will be provided whenever possible, but keep in mind that there are no two similar PUDFs in FP7 - each PUDF must be tailored to each project.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms include several procedures that allow parties to resolve their disputes out of court in a private forum, with the assistance of a qualified neutral intermediary of their choice. ADR procedures are offered by different arbitral institutions. The following fact sheet, issued in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center, provides an overview of WIPO ADR mechanisms, principles, advantages and case examples to assist SMEs, universities, research centres, researchers and others in making a considered choice on how to resolve future or existing disputes when drafting contract clauses and submission agreements. 

Intellectual Property (IP) and its proper management are essential for the success of the projects funded through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and for the exploitation of results created within these projects. Thus, this fact sheet aims to provide the main rules on IP and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applicable in CIP, which all applicants and beneficiaries should be familiar with. The main issues to be considered during the different stages of the project’s life-cycle are also outlined to allow an overview of the required tasks for an efficient management of IP.

A newly updated fact sheet on trade mark search has been published in collaboration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). EUIPO, as the official trade marks and designs office of the European Union registers the European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) and registered Community design (RCD). To know more about trade mark searches and how to perform them download this newly updated fact sheet!

The knowledge of this intricate topic is fundamental for organizations having the purpose to acquire IP, raising capital and seeking financial assistance. Although IP due diligence is a precondition for any capital investment, it can be helpful for enforcing IP rights and reducing the IP-related costs as well. In a few words, IP due diligence can be considered as an essential process when developing an IP strategy. This fact sheet has the scope of illustrating when, why and how to conduct IP due diligence mainly from an SME perspective, in order to increase its marketability. Nevertheless its content is suitable for investigations carried out by any organisation, such as public and private RTOs (Research and Technology Organisations) and universities.

The scope of this document is to outline the main IP-related issues that participants in Marie Curie Actions should consider in the different stages of their projects. The specific rules of the grant agreement related to IP are explained, as well as the content of other agreements commonly used in Marie Curie Actions. Yet, potential participants in these projects should be aware that Marie Curie Actions follow, with a few exceptions, the main FP7 IP-related rules. Thus, we strongly encourage reading our fact sheets on IP management in FP7 projects before this new one.

This fact sheet has the aim of pointing out the importance of confidentiality for businesses and give hints on protection management of confidential business information, which could prove beneficial in particular to small and micro entities. Such information can certainly have a great commercial value and significant importance for the company concerned and its uncontrolled disclosure might potentially lead to serious consequences. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular may not be aware of this risk and thus of the importance of keeping this valuable information “confidential”.

This document, developed in collaboration with CEN (the European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (the European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization), seeks to improve the mutual awareness and collaboration between standardisation and the research communities. While doing so, this fact sheet focuses on an aspect that is close to the researcher's heart: can they participate in and contribute to standardisation without losing the opportunity to exploit their research outcomes through other channels?

There are many reasons why SMEs, universities, research centres and other entities participate in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The creation of results within R&D projects (i.e. foreground) is certainly one of them, since such results might help these organisations to grow their business, go international or perform further research. The purpose of this fact sheet is to give an overview of the rules concerning foreground in FP7 projects. Potential scenarios and practical hints are also provided to help you in the daily management of your projects.