European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (30)

This Bulletin issue is dedicated to IP infringement and enforcement focusing on common IP infringements and the enforcement actions that are available to stop them.

WIPO introduces the topic of IP enforcement in the international context by building respect for IP. EUIPO speaks about the third edition of the Enforcement Database Forum and the upcoming IP Enforcement Portal, while Barbara Weizsäcker, Secretary General at EEIA and EMECA, develops the topic of IP protection at trade fairs and exhibitions through an infringement case which occurred at a German international exhibition.

In this issue we have interviewed a financial news website that explains to us how it was accused of filing its EUTM in bad faith. EPO tells us about the future of patent litigation in Europe with an article on the Unified Patent Court, and 4iP Council describes how to protect your IP rights from wilful infringement.

In addition, Aktion Plagiarius e.V. provides us with an interview on counterfeiting practices and its Plagiarius Prizes.

As per usual, the Bulletin reports information about the European IPR Helpdesk’s past and future events together with the latest updates from our Helpline service, as well as a brand-new IP infringement and enforcement quiz and our usual patent quiz.

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Consultation: EUIPO and the fight against infringement of IPRs

The European Commission has launched a consultation to collect the views of citizens and stakeholders on whether Regulation 386/2012 entrusting the EU Intellectual Property Office with new tasks has met its objective of facilitating and supporting the activities of national authorities, the private sector and EU institutions in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights, in particular counterfeiting and piracy.

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation, which will be opened until 2 October 2018. 

You can contribute by filling in the online questionnaire, available in the 23 official EU languages here

Winners of first EU Blockathon announced

The winners of EU Blockathon 2018, which took place from 22-25 June in Brussels, have been announced. The event was the first hackathon dedicated to developing blockchain-based solutions to fight against counterfeiting. 

The Blockathon aimed to explore the potential of blockchain technology to better protect supply chains from infiltration by counterfeit goods.

Find out more about the innovative technologies developed by the finalists and winners here

IP enforcement: asserting your rights

Intellectual property (IP) can be protected by, among others, IP rights or titles, such as trade marks or patents. Such titles are usually thought to confer negative rights, which means the right to exclude others from using or commercialising, for example, an invention protected under a patent.

This process of not allowing others to use or commercialise protected IP is known as enforcement of rights, which can be done through civil, administrative and penal measures aimed at preventing the unauthorised use of intellectual property, sanctioning such use and providing remedies to right holders for the damage caused by such unauthorised use.

This Fact Sheet illustrates the importance of IP enforcement for businesses and research organisations while providing an overview of the main enforcement actions, together with the latest developments and initiatives of the European Commission in the field.

Synthesis Report on IPR infringement 2018

To coincide with the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on June 6, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released its Synthesis Report.

It shows that 60 billion euros is lost every year due to counterfeiting in 13 economic sectors, which corresponds to 7.5 % of their sales and 434,000 jobs directly lost in these sectors.

The Synthesis Report brings together research on the contribution of IP to the EU economy and the cost of counterfeiting and piracy to international trade. It also summarises actions being undertaken by national, regional and international bodies to combat IP right infringements.

Read the full Synthesis Report and the executive summaries here.

Classification

IP in Education — Education Council adopts conclusions on the future of European education

The Education Council, composed of the education ministers of the European Union, has recently adopted conclusions on moving towards a vision of a European education area as well as recommendations on lifelong learning. 

This far-reaching EU document, which sets out the roadmap for all Member States in its design of educational programmes, acknowledges the work of the IP in Education network managed by the EUIPO and recognises the efforts made by the Observatory's stakeholders and the work the Task Force. 

For further information, click here

European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (29)

This Bulletin issue is dedicated to IP and fashion focusing on the crucial role played by IP in protecting the products of this creative and vibrant industry.

The European IPR Helpdesk presents, on an introductory article, the different IP tools available to protect fashion designs, while the next contribution by Matej Michalec, lawyer at V4 Legal in Bratislava, develops the topic of IP protection tools in the European Union for the fashion industry, highlighting the issue of design protection and its overlap with copyright.

Axel Ferrazzini, Managing Director at 4iP Council, gives some useful hints on how to protect inventions in the fashion field, revealing that patent protection of fashion items is far from being a recent topic.

Then, EUIPO provides an article on the increased prevalence of counterfeiting practices in this sector, and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) focuses on the rise of online counterfeiting in the sporting goods industry and the measures available to tackle this problem.

In addition, we have interviewed Claudia G., a Spanish fashion designer who provides us with an insight into the work of designers and how they address IP matters.

As per usual, the Bulletin reports information about the European IPR Helpdesk’s past and future events together with the latest updates from our Helpline service, as well as a brand-new IP and fashion quiz and our usual patent quiz.

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EU Blockathon: the anti-counterfeiting blockchain competition

The EUIPO is launching the first-ever anti-counterfeiting blockchain competition in Europe and invites the brightest blockchain teams to take part in a 4-day Blockathon from 22 to 25 June 2018, in the heart of the European Union in Brussels.

There will be 10 selected teams that will work together with leading institutions, domain experts, industry, government partners and technology companies to co-create relevant prototypes to address the anti-counterfeiting challenge.

Applications to participate are open until April 30, 2018. 

Find out more and enter the Blockathon here

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New report on trade in counterfeit goods and free trade zones by EUIPO and OECD

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have published a new report on "Trade in counterfeit goods and free trade zones".

This research complements a 2016 study from EUIPO and the OECD which estimated the value of counterfeit products to be 2.5% of world trade – up to EUR 338 billion. 

There are over 3,500 free trade zones in the world. Free trade zones are special economic areas which are often, but not always, set up around ports. Taken together, free trade zones employ 66 million people and generate over EUR 365 billion (USD 500 billion) in direct trade-related added value.

An extra free trade zone within an economy increases the value of counterfeit goods exported from that country by 5.9%.

The full study in English and the Executive Summaries in the 23 language versions can be found here on EUIPO's Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights webpage.