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July 21, 2022 EU Intellectual Property Network
IP attachés: the EUIPO all over the globe
Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Geneva … the EUIPO deploys ‘IP attachés’ in geographical areas where there is a need to support and protect EU intellectual property interests. From advising EU businesses to being in contact with IP enforcement authorities, IP attachés play a central role in boosting IP rights internationally.
The EUIPO deploys IP experts in regions and countries where the European Commission has felt the need to reinforce its capabilities on intellectual property matters. The IP attachés work hand in hand with other EU staff in EU delegations in third countries to defend EU interests. The main objective is to offer a more tailored support to EU business.
A bit of history
The EUIPO deployed its first IP Attaché in China more than 10 years ago. Several years later, a second IP Attaché was sent to Buenos Aires, with regional jurisdiction over the entire Latin American region.
Finally, a fourth IP Attaché was deployed in the EU Delegation in Bangkok with a ‘jurisdiction’ covering the South-East Asian region and another IP expert was sent to the European Commission in Brussels, to help plan and execute ongoing and future cooperation activities.
The need for expertise in IP has grown in recent years, with an increasing demand from the European Commission. In total, there are currently five colleagues and numbers are increasing.
The IP Attaché’s tasks
The IP attachés provide the EU Delegations with expert knowledge on intellectual property matters. Moreover, they play an important role in terms of intelligence analysis and reporting to EU headquarters. Their tasks consist of:
- Representing the EUIPO and facilitating the relations with both the respective country/region’s authorities and the country/region’s stakeholders in the field of IP, including trade marks and designs;
- Raising IP awareness in the countries’ private sector companies in order to boost EU registrations from non-EU rights holders;
- Offering advice on enforcement to EU rights holders that decide to move their business to the countries from IP Attaches’ assigned geographical areas;
- Promoting the use of existing tools (such as TMview or DesignView) developed by the EUIPO that should complement their daily work, especially when tasked with helping protect the IP rights of EU businesses.
In addition, IP attachés work in close contact with EU intellectual property cooperation projects in their geographical area that are managed by the EUIPO, such as IP Key Latin America, South-East Asia and China.