We consider invalidity decisions issued by the EUIPO during the second quarter of 2020, from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. Registered Community designs (RCDs) protect the shape and appearance of new products across the whole of the EU. Since national court decisions on RCDs are rare, decisions by the EUIPO’s Invalidity Division help us to understand how the validity of an RCD is interpreted.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large amount of government backed funding made available in the UK to promote UK based innovation. In particular, various schemes, competitions, grants and loans have been announced with the aim of helping UK SMEs involved in technology and R&D grow as the Covid-19 disruption dies down. We have reported on a number of these recently. An area that is important for achieving this aim, but is perhaps at risk of being overlooked during this period of widespread disruption and uncertainty, is intellectual property.
Because of the disruption caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, since 24 March 2020 the UK IPO has treated every day as an “interrupted day” as far as deadlines are concerned. This applies to UK applications and registrations for: patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, designs. It also applies to deadlines in proceedings relating to these rights, such as oppositions and invalidity actions.
EUIPO aiming for common practice on examination of 3D trade marks – a new practice note with effect from July 2020
In 2011 the EUIPO launched the “Convergence Programme” in order to improve the alignment of national and EU trade mark systems and to assist with the improvement of practices. The programme was based on regular exchange of information and discussion of issues among the EUIPO, national offices and user associations. On 1 April 2020 the EUIPO published CP9 Common Practice: “Distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself”.This sets out a two-step examination process for assessing the distinctive character of such marks.
As of 3 January 2020, the Hague System is in force in Israel, Samoa and Vietnam. This means that applicants can now seek design protection in these countries in a Hague System application, and that applicants based in these three countries can now take advantage of the benefits offered by seeking design protection through the Hague System.
This is the first blog in a new regular series summarising some of the new case law concerning registered Community designs. This blog covers invalidity decisions issued by the EUIPO during the third quarter of 2019, from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019.
The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has recently released its annual review of registered design applications filed under the Hague System.
The European Patent Office (EPO) and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have jointly published a report examining the relationship between IP activity and the growth prospects of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).