« Ideas Powered for business » – Financial support to SMEs for trademarks, designs and patents

This year again, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has launched its grant scheme designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are defined according to the following criteria: fewer than 250 employees, less than EUR 50 million in turnover and an annual balance sheet total of less than EUR 43 million.

The terms and conditions of the SME Fund running until 16 December 2022 have somewhat changed compared to the previous year.

For a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) established in the European Union, it is now possible to be granted a voucher of EUR 1500 to cover 75% of the trademark and/or design fees at national or regional level within the EU, 50% of the non-EU trademark and design fees filed via the Madrid or Hague system (i.e. international trademarks and designs), as well as a voucher of EUR 750 to cover 50% of the fees for national patents.

Since the available funds are limited, applications first received by the EUIPO will be given priority.

The process is made of 4 steps:

  • Submit the application for obtaining a grant
  • Obtain the grant award notification from the EUIPO and the corresponding voucher
  • Request and pay for the IP activities that may be reimbursed
  • Apply for reimbursement

While applying for such a grant, you should be aware that you will have to wait before proceeding to the IP activities (filings, payment of fees etc.), possibly for several weeks, in order to obtain the grant award for reimbursement from the EUIPO.

Our firm will be pleased to assist you with all the administrative steps which are required for this grant application.

Documents to be provided are as follows:

a. Your company’s VAT certificate

b. Bank statement of the company containing the name of the company, the complete IBAN number with the country code and BIC/SWIFT code

c. Signed “Declaration of honour” enabling us to represent you in this procedure

Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information on this grant scheme.

Nathalie Cailteux

EPO 2022 fee increases

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced a rise in many of its official fees (EPO Official Journal). The timing is in line with previous fee increases taking place biennially; most of the affected fees are increased by around 3%.

The new rates will apply to official fees paid on or after 1st April 2022 and so for some fees where the applicant has a choice over the timing of payment, savings may be made by proceeding before April.

Consider anticipating payments

We would particularly recommend clients to consider the savings that can be made by anticipating payments for:

Renewal fees: fall due on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application. The payment can be made 6 months in advance in respect of the third year and 3 months in advance for the other years.

EPO regional phase: consider anticipating the fee payments in respect of pending PCT applications. It should be kept in mind that without an explicit request for early processing, the EPO will wait until the 31-month period has expired to process the international application. Accordingly, the payments can be made early without actually anticipating the prosecution of the application.

Divisional applications: make a decision on the opportunity of filing a divisional application before April and save on filing and search fees as well as on the (often many) back renewal fees due for the divisional application.

For more information on the increase in fees, and to discuss your options in filing early to save costs, please get in touch with your usual Office Freylinger attorney, or contact us here.

Philippe Ocvirk

Office Freylinger participe à la Job Fair du CEIPI !


Office Freylinger est fier de participer à la Job Fair du CEIPI ce 23 février 2022.

Juristes, ingénieurs, professionnels de l’IP en devenir, n’hésitez à pas à nous envoyer vos candidatures !

 

China – changes to rules on use of registered trademarks

The Chinese Intellectual Property Institute (CNIPA) has decided to strengthen the rules on trademark use by setting the criteria for determining illegal acts relating to trademarks.

The rules list 10 types of general illegal acts relating to trademarks, including:

  • Failure of a licensee to indicate its name or a place of production
  • Failing to meet product marking obligations
  • Filing a trademark in bad faith (especially for a local distributor)

Furthermore, a trademark that is ultimately rejected, cancelled or invalidated by the Office should no longer be used as a trademark, in particular to avoid an investigation and an administrative sanction.

Finally, if you use a trademark that is not registered in China, we recommend that you do not use the ® registration symbol or other symbols or terms indicating that your trademark is registered. Therefore, if you intend to market products in China with an unregistered trademark, it would be safer to have these symbols removed before the products enter China.

This law came into force on 1 January 2022.

If you have any questions on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

UPC ahead!

UPC ahead!

Following Austria’s ratification with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, the  Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has entered into force today, 19 January 2022.

As announced by the UPC Preparatory Committe (here):

This event marks the start of the Provisional Application Period (PAP) and the birth of the Unified Patent Court as an international organisation.

More information coming soon.

Philippe OCVIRK

La marque Meta, et l’importance des recherches préalables

L’actualité démontre une fois de plus l’importance des préparations en amont du dépôt ou de l’usage d’une nouvelle marque. Les mésaventures de Mark Zuckerberg, fondateur du groupe Facebook, témoignent de leur pertinence.

Avant que Mark Zuckerberg ne dévoile le nouveau nom choisi “META” pour remplacer “Facebook”, des recherches préliminaires sur les droits antérieurs découlant notamment de marques identiques ou similaires auraient sans doute évité l’humiliation imposée par les fondateurs de l’entreprise américaine Meta PCs. Ces derniers revendiquent des droits sur une marque antérieure identique “META” déposée en août dernier pour des ordinateurs et logiciels, et refusent de céder celle-ci pour moins de 20 millions de dollars.

Des lacunes en matière de recherches d’antériorités sur le logo choisi par Mark Zuckerberg ont également été constatées, puisque une start-up allemande M-sense Migraine a déjà fait savoir sur les réseaux sociaux que le patron du groupe Facebook s’était inspiré de son logo pour sa nouvelle marque figurative.

Restons donc vigilants ! Le choix d’une marque dépend non seulement de sa qualité distinctive au regard des produits et services à couvrir, mais aussi de l’existence ou non de marques antérieures similaires ou identiques.

Notre cabinet reste à votre disposition pour vous accompagner dans ces démarches.

Nathalie Cailteux

 

Lien vers un article de l’Essentiel: http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/economie/story/la-marque-meta-appartient-deja-a-un-fabricant-de-pc-13185539

Webinaire – Le brevet dans les processus d’innovation

 

Office Freylinger organise un webinaire sur le brevet dans les processus d’innovation.

Celui-ci aura lieu le jeudi 18 novembre 2021 de 11h30 à 12h30.

Philippe Ocvirk, Mandataire en brevets européens, présentera une introduction au système des brevets et rappellera les bonnes pratiques dans le contexte des processus innovants.

Divers sujets seront abordés, tels que les types d’inventions brevetables, les critères de brevetabilité, le brevet comme source d’information, la protection, ou encore la liberté d’exploitation.

Le brevet protège nombre des produits que nous utilisons et consommons quotidiennement. Il garantit un avantage compétitif stratégique, mais constitue également un élément de l’actif immatériel de l’entreprise, qui peut être valorisé et transmis.

Si vous souhaitez en apprendre davantage à ce sujet, nous vous invitons à vous inscrire à ce webinaire destiné aux débutants.

Inscription (gratuite) : cliquez ici

 

Trademark Application

Office Freylinger is very proud to support and collaborate with What Water ASBL.

We are especially delighted to encourage this non-profit association, in which one of our lawyers and future attorney, Flavie Rougier, is extremely invested.

What Water is a humanitarian association aiming to connect Europe’s art scene with Central Africa’s water crisis by organising art events, which profits fund the construction of new wells https://whatwater.org/

Office Freylinger can only invite you to support this great project!

 

Link to a short presentation video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/swy7tmowa6nxyc6/What%20Water.mp4?dl=0

The United Arab Emirates will join the Madrid System

It will enter into force on December 28, 2021. The United Arab Emirates will become the 109th member of the Madrid System (covering now 125 countries).

When selling your products or services in the UAE, it will be easier to protect and manage your trademarks.

Link: https://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/news/2021/news_0026.html

Unitary patent package – almost there?

The German Federal Government deposited on 27 September Germany’s instrument of ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application (PPA) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA).

This is a decisive step on the way to the establishment of the Unitary Patent package, which consists of the new European unitary patent (granted by the EPO) and the setting up of the Unified Patent Court.

The provisional application is required to establish the legal capacity and organizational capability of the UPC. During the PAP phase, the governing bodies of the Court will be assembled, budget and IT systems as well as finalization of the recruitment of the judges of the Court. The Preparatory Committee foresees that approximately eight months will be required to conclude all the work that needs to be done during the PAP.

Germany’s ratification of the PPA comes after several years of doubt, during the examination of the Agreement by the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC). Following the decision of the FCC published in July this year the German law for the ratification of the UPCA and its Protocols was signed by the President and published in August allowing Germany now to proceed with ratification.

Germany’s ratification enables the PPA to come into force (and therefore the provisional application period to start) as soon as two more countries ratify the PPA or otherwise consent to be bound by the provisional application of certain UPCA provisions.

One of those countries is very likely to be Slovenia (which is hosting in Ljubljana one of the seats of the UPC Mediation and Arbitration Centre). Slovenia’s legislation ratifying the PPA came into force on 24 September 2021 when it was published in Slovenia’s Official Gazette although the Council of the EU has not yet recorded the deposit of the instrument of ratification.

Austria is also expected to ratify the PPA shortly.

Further signs of activity on this topic:

–       An overview of the state of play for entry into effect of the unitary patent package was due to be addressed during the Competitiveness council on 29 September 2021;

–       The Select Committee (dealing with the Unitary  patent) of the EPO Administrative Council will meet on 14 October 2021.

Alexander Ramsay, Chair of the UPC, estimates that the UPC will start operations around mid-2022.

Philippe Ocvirk

CONNECT by clc – Septembre 2021 – Stratégie de PI : La protection de votre marque (Page 25)

Office Freylinger a eu le plaisir de participer à la dernière édition magazine CONNECT by clc. Ne manquez pas nos conseils, et nos informations sur la protection de votre marque en page 25 !
N’hésitez pas à nous contacter, nous répondrons à toutes vos éventuelles questions.

https://clc.lu/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/connect-15-web.pdf