Designed for growth: Design to push innovation

Design plays a key role as an intangible asset for EU innovative companies. 21% of European companies use design as a strategic means to encourage innovation and the EU's design sector has an annual turnover of €36 billion. In order to fully exploit designs' potential to boost innovation, growth and job creation, the European Commission set up the European Design Innovation Initiative.

21 policy recommendations have recently been presented by the European Design Leadership Board, addressing six areas for strategic action:

  • the global stage; including identifying and strengthening existing European Design Centres, and creating a "Designed in the European Union" label;
  • Europe's innovation system; including new methods to measure the growth impact of investment in design, and including design within innovation and business incubators and their networks;
  • Europe's enterprises; including strengthening design innovation in SMEs and facilitating access to finance for design-led companies;
  • the public sector; including increasing the use of design and designers in public sector innovation by establishing design labs;
  • the research system; including embedding design research in Europe’s research system; and
  • the education system; including fostering a culture of design learning and encouraging Member States to support the development of design competencies for the 21st century.

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OHIM IP Seminar kicks off

The OHIM IP Seminar 2012 organised by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) Academy, has begun on Monday, with several sessions set in the week to come.

The Seminar aims to offer a platform for participants to learn and to exchange new ideas in the IP field, with a focus on trademarks and designs. Plenary sessions will run in the morning from 09:30 to 13:30, and afternoon workshops will follow, focusing either on legal issues or showcasing e-business tools. Every day will feature a quiz on what´s been covered during that session, with a final quiz at the end of the two weeks.

To see the Seminar programme, please click here

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WIPO new publication: 2012 IP Facts and Figures

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) has published the 2012 IP Facts and Figures. This publication includes data on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs and it is focused on application data only. The guide is therefore an important source of information on the global trends of intellectual property activity.

This guide is available online and you may read it in full here.

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Intellectual property course design manual

The Academy of the European Patent Office (EPO) has released a handbook setting up new teaching content to make it easier for university lecturers to introduce intellectual property into various courses of study and educational programmes.

The manual will be of particular interest to those studying business/economics, innovation management and law. The manual consists of twenty-two modules grouped into five core areas, and can be downloaded in electronic format or ordered as a hard copy for free.

For further information please click here, for downloading or ordering here.

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How to search Chinese designs without knowledge of Chinese

The European Patent Office (EPO) provides access to several documents with tips and tricks for using Chinese searching tools without any previous knowledge of Chinese. For example, you may find documents with instructions on how to retrieve machine translated documents from the State Intellectual Property Office P.R.C. (SIPO) or how to check a fee payment. A new document added recently by the EPO to its list of tips and tricks concerns Chinese designs. Thanks to this new document available on the EPO's website, with step-by-step instructions, you may now search for designs in SIPO’s database without any knowledge of the Chinese language.

International design system: 2010 trends

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has reported the international design filing trends for last year. According to this organization, the European Union was the member most designated by applicants, representing the impressive share of 70.3% of the total number of designs recorded in 2010. This share represented a growth of 33.1% in relation to the previous year. A full report, with the trends per country is available on WIPO's website.