EUIPO study: "Protecting Innovation Through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms"

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, has recently released an EU-wide study entitled "Protecting Innovation Through Trade Secrets and Patents: Determinants for European Union Firms".

This study uses data from the Community Innovation Survey for 24 Member States, which examines the economic importance of trade secrets and their relationship with patents.

Three main findings emerge from this study :

  • The use of trade secrets is higher than the use of patents for most types of companies (although it is particularly prevalent among SMEs), in most economic sectors and in all Member States.
  • Market novelty and innovation in tangible goods are associated with a preference for patents while process and service innovations are more often protected through secrecy.
  • There is complementarity between the use of trade secrets and patents—many companies use both methods to protect their innovations.

These results will provide a basis for policy-makers and companies to further develop policies in this area following the adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive in 2016.

Atarés Mosaics: International market selection and IP as a differentiation value

You have a patentable technology and a business ready for international expansion? Get inspired by Atarés Mosaics' internationalisation strategy and learn about the steps to be followed to ensure that your technology is protected in a commercially efficient manner. 

 

Trade secrets: An efficient tool for competitiveness

A trade secret is confidential information in the context of business, commerce or trade. Trade secrets often constitute valuable resources to many companies whose assets may, for instance, not be patentable but have a great commercial value and therefore need to be protected.

This fact sheet illustrates the importance of trade secrets for businesses and provides insight into trade secret protection, which could prove beneficial in particular to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

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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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Koalect: Trade mark conflicts and the importance of prior searches

Finding the right name for your company and the products you sell is not an easy task. Not only do you need to be creative but also you must avoid infringing your competitors' rights over their trade marks. Avoiding infringement is even more important when you are at an early stage in the development of your new business. Time and economic resources are usually scarce when a company is being launched and you will want to invest them in something other than litigation. This is why performing a prior trade mark search before starting to operate a business under a certain name or brand is an essential task we must not overlook. 

To illustrate the issues that can arise in this situation, Koalect, a successful Belgian start-up, tells us their story in this new case study.

 

European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin Issue (24)

We are pleased to inform you that Issue 24 of the European IPR Helpdesk Bulletin has been published and is now available online.

This Bulletin issue is largely dedicated to trade marks and their importance for businesses.

An article from WIPO explains the different ways to obtain trade mark protection and a contribution from the EUIPO provides several updates on the EUTM regime and other relevant issues regarding, inter alia, enforcement. 

EUIPO's EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property provides some valuable information regarding two useful databases aimed at tackling IP infringements.

INTA reveals the basics of trade names in its article, and our interview with Design and Engineering Company reflects the importance of trade marks for SMEs and their management. 

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 our brand new trade mark soup.

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The 2017 euRobotics Technology Transfer Award

Successful technology transfer describes the process of converting scientific findings from research laboratories into innovative products, processes and services by the commercial sector.

During the 2017 European Robotics Forum (ERF), the three most outstanding examples of technology transfer in robot technology and automation will receive the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award (cash awards and signed certificates).

Applications are invited from individuals or teams from:

  • industry, if technology transfer has taken place in Europe;
  • universities, research organizations or laboratories that are located in Europe.

The application deadline is February 5, 2017.

Further information on the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award is available here.

 

Boosting the start-ups in Europe: The Commission’s Start-up and Scale-up Initiative

The European Commission has released a communication to foster European start-ups and scale-ups to make them become Europe’s next leaders.

The Commission's “Start-up and Scale-up Initiative” brings together a range of existing and new actions to create a more coherent framework to allow start-ups to grow by addressing the three main elements:

  • removing the barriers for start-ups and scale-ups concerning the regulatory and administrative rules and formalities,
  • creating new opportunities,
  • simplifying the procedures for access to finance.

In this new approach, the Commission attributes particular importance to intellectual property (IP) rights by underlining the fact that IP has a key role in the success of start-ups and innovative SMEs. Therefore, in line with this “Start-up and Scale-up Initiative”, a staff working document has been published on IP, where a set of IP support measures for start-ups and SMEs was put in place. These measures comprise:

  • facilitating access to IP for SMEs,
  • facilitating the use and enforcement of IP, and
  • coordination of IP support and monitoring the impact.

 

For more information:

European Commission’s Press Release

European Commission’s Communication: “Europe's next leaders: the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative”

Staff Working Document on IP: “Putting Intellectual Property at the Service of SMEs to Foster Innovation and Growth”

The European Commission's Factsheet: “A Supportive IPR Framework for SMEs and start-ups”

 

On-site Helpline Hours in Brussels in December

European IPR Helpdesk welcomes you to the "Helpline Hours" in Brussels

First-line support on Intellectual Property Management


Once again, we are looking forward to meeting you in our Brussels Office, where you will have the opportunity to discuss your IP issues with our Helpline advisors face-to-face.

We will be happy to provide you free-of-charge, first-line support and information on your IP-specific questions.

The December edition of the Helpline hours will take place on

Wednesday, 7th December 2016 between 14:00 – 17:00

in our Brussels Office at Rue du Trône 98.

Please note that the use of the new Helpline hours in Brussels requires prior online registration. Just fill in the form here and select the most suitable time slot for you.

See you in Brussels soon!

 

 

Now available: Exhibitor List for REinEU2016 Conference Bratislava

An international conference completely dedicated to excellence in European science: The REinEU2016 taking place in Bratislava from 26th to 28th October 2016 is one of the largest events during the Slovak presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2016. Hundreds of representatives from European and international research and innovation communities, and the business sector will meet to discuss excellent science, research and innovation in the field of nanotechnologies, advanced materials, manufacturing and production technologies as well as biotechnology.

The European IPR Helpdesk team will join the event as one of the exhibitors. To view the full list of exhibitors, please follow the link below.

The conference includes three days of interesting and diverse talks and topics. The complete programme is available for download through the link below.

Don't miss this opportunity to make new contacts and find partners from around Europe. We are looking forward to meeting you in Bratislava and welcoming you at our booth at the exhibition.