A taste of Vienna in Malta

Starting a business where you can add your personal touch can be a very creative and rewarding experience. However, apart from being creative, one needs to be careful not to infringe others' intellectual property rights when choosing a trade name or a trade mark to identify oneself in the market.

For "A taste of Vienna", a Maltese bakery, obtaining legal advice before selecting its trade mark made its business experience even sweeter. We tell you everything in this new case study. 

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European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (19)

We are pleased to inform you that a new issue of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been released and is now available online.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to industrial designs - industrial design protection, where and how to search registered designs, new design innovation funding opportunities under Horizon 2020.

Read also our interview with a young Luxembourgish designer and see her vision on Intellectual Property and design protection.  

Trade fairs - our Bulletin features an article giving practical recommendations on how to minimise the risk of infringement when exhibiting new, innovative products and services.

Article of Professor Thomas Gergen explains the advantages and risks in mediation procedures, as possible alternative to solve intellectual property disputes.

As always, the Bulletin reports information about past IPR events together with some fresh news on the Helpline service. In addition, it contains the usual patent quiz and a new design crossword.

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Domain names and cybersquatting

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.

This fact sheet aims to present the issue of domain name ownership and registration, their relationship to trade marks as well as explaining the issue of cybersquatting and the available dispute resolution mechanisms that may be used by SMEs to protect their businesses online.

 

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INTA study on how companies are using the New gTLD Program

At the beginning of this year INTA commissioned a survey to determine the impact that the New gTLD Program has had on companies' enforcement costs. 

While the goal of the New gTLD Program was to enhance competition and consumer choice, the study showed that most trade mark owners are purchasing new gTLDs to prevent infringement. 

Find out more about INTA's conclusions and its survey report here

Quality schemes help EU producers break new markets

The promotion of geographical indications (GI) has helped EU products attract new emerging markets which seek quality food. However, Europol warns that fake GI products are on the rise across the EU and policymakers should not disregard the protection of intellectual property rights.

In a very interesting article, which you can access here, Euractiv explains how EU quality schemes support EU producers and reveals the most relevant threats to them in terms of counterfeiting of GI products. 

EU customs seized over 41 million fake goods at EU borders last year

The European Commission has just released new figures showing that customs authorities detained more than 41 million counterfeit goods at the EU's external border in 2016. 

The Commission report reveals that China is the country where most fake goods came from in 2016 (80% of articles), with cigarettes being the top category (24%) for articles detained. 

Find out more here

Two new reports on counterfeiting and piracy published by EUIPO

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, integrated in the structure of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), has recently published two reports on counterfeiting and piracy.

The first one, "Mapping the Real Routes of Trade in Fake Goods", has been produced in cooperation with  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and assesses the routes associated with the global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. 

The second one, "2017 Situation Report on Counterfeiting and Piracy in the European Union", has been drawn up in partnership with Europol and is intended to update policimakers, practicioners, businesses and the general public on the current counterfeiting and piracy landscape in the European Union. 

Find out more about these reports here

Intellectual property management at trade fairs

Trade fairs and exhibitions are very important marketing tools for companies, in particular for SMEs. They help to attract new customers, test products, access new markets, raise the image, profile and popularity of a company or product, and enhance competitiveness.

While, trade fairs can facilitate intellectual property (IP) infringements, they can also help IP owners detect such infringements. Therefore, exhibitors must be aware of all the IP issues that can arise in the context of trade fairs and take appropriate measures before, during and after the show.

Learn all about it in this fact sheet. 

The European IPR Helpdesk has also published a leaflet on "IP management at trade fairs", downloadable here.

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IP considerations for trade fair organisers

Tackling intellectual property (IP) issues in trade fairs and exhibitions is not only a crucial element for exhibitors. It is also highly important for organisers as the risk of IP infringement in a trade fair/exhibition may affect the credibility of the trade show and might discourage companies from participating in these events. Being aware of this, many organisers are now taking initiatives to ease the fight against IP infringements.

This fact sheet offers some possible measures that can be taken by the trade fair organisers to prevent the infringement of IP rights during trade fairs, and introduces real examples from a number of trade fair organisers and associations.

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EUIPO report: An average company spends 115k EUR annually on IP enforcement

 
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), acting through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has published a report on "private costs of enforcement of IPR", analysing the impact of counterfeiting and piracy by quantifying the costs borne by companies in dealing with IP infringement. 
 
The study is based on a survey of 1,291 companies in 14 EU Member States, which provided a detailed picture of the resources used to detect and combat infringements by both small and large companies. 
 
According to the findings of the study, an average company spends 115,317 EUR per year on enforcement-related activities. Not surprisingly, this amount varies depending on the size of the companies. The report reveals that while for the small companies (having fewer than 50 employees), the average expenditure on IP enforcement is 83,653 EUR per year, for medium-sized companies (with 50-250 employees), the outlay increases to 103,166 EUR. Finally, in the case of large companies, those with more than 250 employees, the IP enforcement costs amount to 159,132 EUR per year. 
 
To read the whole report, please click here.