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.

EC factsheet: Modern EU Copyright rules for European culture to flourish and circulate

The European Commission has recently published a factsheet summarising different aspects of the EU's current situation regarding copyright rules.

A variety of interesting facts are explained in this comprehensive document, including the need to reform EU copyright legislation and the evolution of the legislative process up to today. 

To find out more, click here

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

Secto Design: Making use of design rights when competing with infringers

Design protection is sometimes undervalued, being considered after patent and trade mark rights for businesses when it comes to IP protection. However, design is a crucial element in identifying a company’s innovative brilliance to its clients, and protection of design rights is generally a very straightforward process.

In this Case Study, a Finnish SME shows us the importance of taking concrete steps for design protection to increase the company’s value, and how it deters potential free riders from infringing on their products.

Vtree Energy: Building a solar future through intellectual property

Innovative products provide competitive advantage for their owners as long as proper intellectual property (IP) protection measures are taken. In order to ensure a product’s market success, and combat potential infringers successfully, it is necessary to take all characteristics of the product into account, and consider IP in a broader aspect.

This Case Study from Romania presents a real-life example on the significance of IP, when a company’s business strategy is based on new and innovative products or services.

MILZU!: Going international with a sound trade mark protection strategy

Competing in global markets is always challenging, especially for SMEs. It is even tougher in some particular sectors such as agrofood, where big players dominate the whole market.

In this Case Study, we meet a Latvian company and witness how they gained a strong presence in the international arena by following a rational trade mark strategy and how they make use of IP rights as a tool to achieve success when doing business abroad.

WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Day 2018 celebrated women's accomplishments

Every 26th April we celebrate the World IP Day, an initiative of WIPO's member states to raise public awareness about the role of IP in daily life, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and creators to the development of societies across the globe.

This year, the World IP Day campaign celebrated the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future. New WIPO figures show the highest-ever rate of women inventors, especially in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry fields, but a gender gap persists. 

Find out more here

European Inventor Award 2018 finalists announced

The 15 finalists of the European Inventor Award 2018, announced today by the EPO, have all made significant contributions to advancing technology, generating economic value and creating employment in Europe and throughout the world.

The finalists were selected from a pool of more than 500 individuals and teams of inventors. Their inventions cover a wide range of technological fields including:

  • biotechnology,
  • microchip lithography,
  • automotive,
  • toys and games,
  • medical imaging and technology,
  • renewable energy,
  • material sciences,
  • lasers and
  • electronics.

The finalists are divided into five categories, i.e. industry, research, non-EPO countries, SMEs and lifetime achievement.

The 2018 award ceremony will take place on June 7 in Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The public is invited to take part in conferring one of the awards (the Popular Prize) which is chosen by online voting on the EPO website in the run-up to the ceremony.

Voting is open until 3 June 2018.

Find further information on EPO's website, 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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