The European Commission has approved new rules for the protection of industrial designs in the EU. The proposal aims to:
- Simplify and streamline the procedure for the EU-wide registration of a design: By making it easier to present designs in an application for registration (for instance by submitting video files) or combine more than one design in one application, as well as by lowering the fees to be paid for the first ten years of protection, the new rules will make registered Community design protection more accessible, efficient and affordable in particular for individual designers and SMEs.
- Harmonise procedures and ensure complementarity with national design systems: The new framework aims to ensure greater complementarity among EU level and national design protection rules, for instance on requirements for registering designs or simplifying rules for invalidating registered designs. This will help to create a level playing field for businesses across Europe.
- Allow reproducing original designs for repair purposes of complex products: By introducing an EU-wide ‘repair clause’ into the Design Directive, the new rules will help to open up and increase competition in the spare parts market. This is particularly important in the car repair sector, where it should become legally possible in all EU countries to reproduce identical “must match” car body parts for repair to restore its original appearance. The proposed ‘repair clause’ should have instant legal effect only for future designs while designs already granted protection should remain covered during a transitional period of ten years.
The next steps are for this proposal to be approved by the European Parliament and Counsel and after that the related Regulation and Directive to be adopted and come into force for all EU Member States.
The European Commission published answers to a variety of questions regarding the Copyright reform that has been approved recently. The questions are as follow:
1. The European Parliament voted on the new copyright rules at EU level – what are they about?
2. Why do we need to modernise the EU copyright rules?
3. Are the new copyright rules limiting users and their freedom online?
4. Will the Directive impose upload filters online?
5. Will the Copyright Directive prevent users from expressing themselves on internet in the same way as now? Will memes and GIFs be banned?
6. How will the new Copyright rules tackle the discrepancy between the remuneration of creators and that of certain online platforms (the so-called ‘value gap’)?
7. How will the new copyright rules on user-uploaded platforms benefit the users?
8. What are the services covered by the new rules on user-uploaded platforms?
9. What will be the special regime for startups and smaller enterprises?
10. What will happen to online encyclopaedias (like Wikipedia) that are based on content uploaded by users?
11. How will the new press publishers’ right work?
12. Are small and emerging press publishers going to be affected by the reform?
13. Is the new Copyright Directive creating a “hyperlink tax”?
14. With the new rules, will the use of “snippets” be forbidden?
15. How will the new Directive benefit journalism and journalists?
16. How will the Directive ensure fair remuneration for individual authors and performers?
17. How will the new copyright rules strike a fairer balance in the relationships between creators and their contractual partners?
18. What is the contract adjustment mechanism? Does it interfere with contractual freedom?
19. What is the revocation mechanism and why is it needed?
20. What are the new exceptions to copyright laid down in the Copyright Directive?
21. How will the new copyright rules benefit researchers?
22. What is the purpose of the other, general, text and data mining exception?
23. Who will benefit from the new teaching exception?
24. Will the new copyright rules enhance the preservation and availability of cultural heritage?
25. What will it change for users with regards to “public domain” content?
26. How will the new copyright rules foster the availability of EU audiovisual works on video-on-demand platforms?
You can find the answers here.
The European Commission confirmed the Irish whiskey status as a protected European Geographical indication. The scope of protection covers different variations of this whiskey such as malt Irish whiskey, pot still Irish whiskey, grain Irish whiskey, and blended Irish whiskey.
Irish whiskey has been known since the 6th Century. In the 19 Century, its production rose significantly and in the 20 Century, it became worldwide known.
In the future, this whiskey will be produced only on the territory of Irland under strict requirements and approved methods.
This is a strategic step for the Irish Whiskey Association because it gives an opportunity for legal protection against unfair competition and infringements. What’s more, the protection of this Geographical indication will be included in future trade negotiations between The EU and third parties which by itself is crucial for the Association taking into account its global sells.
1. First Edition of the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme. For more information here.
2. Pharmaceuticals: European Commission refines intellectual property rules. For more information here.
3. Vtree Energy: Building a solar future through intellectual property. For more information here.
Source: Intellectual Property Center at the UNWE. More information can be found here
The European Commission initiated a legal proceeding against China before the World Trade Organisation. The reason for that move was alleged unfair practices regarding technology transfer and intellectual property set by the Chinese legislation.
The main problem here is the requirement that every European company that wants to enter the Chinese market has to share technologies and intellectual property with a domestic partner.
According to the European Commision, this practice is against the WTO’s rules and can be identified as unfair and not market-based.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Technological innovation and know-how is the bedrock of our knowledge-based economy. It’s what keeps our companies competitive in the global market and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Europe. We cannot let any country force our companies to surrender this hard-earned knowledge at its border. This is against international rules that we have all agreed upon in the WTO. If the main players don’t stick to the rulebook, the whole system might collapse.”
Source: European Commission.
The European Commission published the main elements from the EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements. According to this information what concerns the intellectual property matters is:
The EU-Singapore trade and investment agreements will take EU and Singapore relations to a new level and create more opportunities for EU and Singaporean businesses to grow and create new jobs.
(7) Protects intellectual property rights
Both the EU and Singapore already have modern systems to protect and enforce intellectual property rights. The trade agreement consolidates this and sets out basic rules on enforcement (other than criminal enforcement), including at the border.
Intellectual property right-holders will be able to get help from customs authorities to detain counterfeit trademarked or GI-protected goods, pirated copyrighted content and registered designs.
On copyright, the agreement provides for equitable payment for both performers and producers of recorded music played on the radio, TV or in places open to the public (such as shops, restaurants, bars)– which will improve the current situation in Singapore.
Singapore has agreed to strengthen its existing geographical indications (GI) regime by setting up a system to register GIs in Singapore. Once registered in Singapore, around 190 GIs for wines, spirits and certain agricultural products will enjoy levels of protection equal to those in the EU thanks to this agreement. This includes Bordeaux wines, Parma ham, Champagne and Bayerisches Bier. Better protection for such products will also improve Singapore consumers’ awareness of authentic top-quality EU GI products.
For more information here.
Do you want to do business in China? Do you know what are the legal requirements and how you can protect your intellectual property there?
The European Commission and the EUIPO try to give some clarity on that matter launching a brand new website called IP KEY CHINA, where you can find a lot of information which can facilitate your efforts to enter the Chinese market. The site gives access to a variety of legal documents including such related to intellectual property.
More information can be found here.