UK Intellectual Property Office guide on IP and BREXIT

The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a guide concerning the future of intellectual property (IP)  rights and the recent Referendum decision on BREXIT.

This brief guide aims to cover the questions raised by the UK rights holders about possible consequences of the Referendum on their IP titles by giving information on trade marks, designs, patents, copyright and enforcement issues and the expected impacts of the Referendum.

Please click here to access the dedicated website.


Ask the Helpline

My company is applying to the SME Instrument (phase 2). We want to make a medical application, that seems to be very innovative, but we do not want to make any mistakes in our SME proposal. Can you indicate us how we should tackle the IP in our proposal?

The main points that should be addressed in the IP section with a proposal for the SME Instrument phase 2 calls, are listed in the “Impact section” of the Technical Annex of the proposal template. The content outlined in this section is related to the planned activities for dissemination and exploitation of the results and to intellectual property, knowledge protection and regulatory issues.
Please note that the IP subsection should tackle issues such as:

  • Identification of the background – definition of the project background, i.e. existing knowledge and other assets that will be necessary to successfully implement the project;
  • Identification of the project results - the content of your proposal does not have to be fully exhaustive on this point, but should identify the results which are foreseen, bearing in mind that unforeseen results might be created in the course of the project;
  • Identification of the corresponding intellectual property rights (if any) or alternative means of protection; you could also write about the means of securing your trade secrets (confidentiality issues); furthermore you could mention a possible trade mark protection - if you decide to commercialise your medical application under a specific name/logo with a specific geographical scope. To sum up, results generated under your project, such as data, inventions, know-how etc. — in whatever form or nature - can be managed and protected in different ways.
  • “Freedom to operate” issues;
  • Strategy for knowledge management and protection;
  • Ownership regime applicable to the results - this has to be compatible with the ownership provisions of the Grant Agreement - please see the SME Instrument Model Grant Agreement.

Please remember that the overall goal of this subsection of the proposal is to show that you have a plan for knowledge management - concrete measures to be undertaken during the project's lifetime and beyond with the purpose of allowing an optimal protection, and consequently, the most effective exploitation and dissemination of valuable assets resulting from your project.


Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard 2016

A new study commissioned by the European Union Intellectual property Office (EUIPO) examines in detail the use that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make of IPRs, why they do or do not register their rights, as well as the problems encountered by SMEs that do register their IPRs.

The study shows that a large majority of companies that have chosen to register their IPRs report positive effects, like increased reputation or improved image of reliability, strengthening of long-term business prospects and increased turnover.

Further information along with the full text of the report is available here.

The European IPR Helpdesk values your input!

Being a service initiative funded by the European Union, the European IPR Helpdesk provides free-of-charge and first-line IP support to European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to constantly adjust our services to the actual needs of our present and potential users, we are currently carrying out an online survey to better understand the driving factors, deficiencies, necessities and expectations related to the use of IP amongst SMEs in Europe.

Therefore, if you are a representative of a European SME, you have the opportunity to have your say by answering our online questionnaire available until the end of June 2016 at the following link.

This will take approximately 10 minutes and all information provided will be anonymous and handled with confidentiality.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email ( or phone (+352 25 22 33 - 334).

Managing confidentiality when starting a business

Before starting the development of commercial activities with the support of external business partners, it is crucial to protect confidential information that can have a significant economic value. Any leakage of such information may cause irrevocable outcomes for businesses, especially during the initial stages of business development.
With this case study, you will discover how the Romanian entrepreneur, Monica Talpalaru, benefited from the European IPR Helpdesk services in managing confidential information when setting up her new enterprise.
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Intellectual Property made easy

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office has recently created a new series of IP-based animations which aim to explain the different IP rights and how they can benefit business.

If you want to acquire basic information on Intellectual Property, this suite of 12 short animations is the perfect place for you to start.

The animations are available at the following link.

OHIM’s communication concerning the use of Nice classification headings for EU trade marks

The president of OHIM has announced that the proprietors of Community trade marks (to be named as EU trade marks, or EUTM) applied before 22 June 2012 and registered in respect of the entire heading of a Nice class, may declare that their intention on the date of filing had been to seek protection in respect of goods and services beyond those covered by the literal meaning of that heading.

Declarations must be submitted to the Office within the transitional period between 23 March 2016 and 24 September 2016 inclusive. From the end of the transitional period, all trade marks containing class headings will be interpreted according to their literal meaning regardless of their filing date.

For more information and having access to the full official communication of OHIM, please click here.


OHIM’s public consultation on the Strategic Plan 2020

The Strategic Plan 2020, developed by OHIM, provides a roadmap for the vision and strategic goals set by the Office for the next five years. OHIM now launches a public consultation after reflecting the contributions and recommendations raised during the first consultation period of last year.

With this second study, the Office is once again looking forward to gathering feedbacks from wide range of sources including staff, stakeholders and users to understand the full effects of the Regulation amending the EU trade mark.

The consultation will run until Tuesday 15 March 2016.

For more information about the draft Strategic Plan 2020 and to submit your contribution, please click here


Applications for the DesignEuropa Awards are now open

Applications are now open for the first edition of the DesignEuropa Awards celebrating excellence in design and design management among Registered Community Design (RCD) holders, whether they are individual right holders, small businesses or large enterprises.

The DesignEuropa Awards have three categories:

  • Industry (firms with more than 50 employees and/or over €10 million turnover);
  • Small and Emerging companies (firms with fewer than 50 employees and/or less than €10 million turnover, or companies established after January 1, 2013); and
  • a special Lifetime Achievement Award.

The application period runs until July 15th, 2016 and the award ceremony will take place in Milan on November 30th.

The awards are presented in partnership with the Italian Patent and Trade Mark Office (Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi).

Further information is available on the DesignEuropa Award section of OHIM’s website.


New European Commission web tool helps SMEs to innovate

The European Commission has launched a new tool making it easier for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to access state-of-the-art technological services across Europe.

This tool allows finding technological service centres active in the field of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) that can help SMEs in speeding up the commercialisation of their innovation by providing a broad range of services such as assistance with prototyping, testing, upscaling, first production and product validation.

Further information is available here.