IP Network: International cooperation
International cooperation between intellectual property (IP) offices, at bilateral, multilateral and regional level, helps strengthen IP systems globally for the benefit of users.
Strong, interconnected, user-friendly intellectual property frameworks at international level help support EU companies doing business outside the borders of the Union.
With the entry into force of the amending European Union trade mark regulation (EUTMR), as reflected in the Strategic Plan 2020, international cooperation is now an integral part of the core business of the EUIPO.
As a result, the EUIPO, together with the national and regional intellectual property offices of the European Union, through the European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN), is working with international partners outside the EU. Its aim is to strengthen IP protection systems with the aim of achieving convergence of practices with other fast-growing economies.
This is reflected in Line of Action 4 of the Strategic Plan, which encompasses the Office’s strategy to extend the benefits of EUIPN tools and practices beyond the borders of the EU.
The key elements of this cooperation are: exchange of knowledge; creation of common IT platforms; and support for EU users on registration and enforcement overseas, in cooperation with EU Member States and EU Delegations.
Our objective is to contribute to EU’s policies in the field of IP, so that European businesses can count on tools and practices that facilitate their access to emerging markets.
With the strong involvement of the IP offices of the EU via the European Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) and the European Commission, we actively cooperate with our international partners in order to:
- offer common trade mark and design information and classification tools, such as: TMview, DesignView, TMclass and DesignClass;
- capitalise on both our own expertise in IP practices and that of our partners in the EUIPN;
- become leading players in the worldwide convergence stream that the EUIPN is promoting in the IP field.
International Cooperation at EUIPO takes three distinct forms: bilateral cooperation between the Office and IP offices in third countries; cooperation with the Trade Mark Five (TM5) and the Industrial Design Five (ID5) partner offices; and implementation of EU-funded projects at international level.
The execution of all activities contained under the international cooperation heading at EUIPO covers the lifetime of the Strategic Plan 2020. Its deliverables are measured through key performance indicators in the Office’s Balanced Scorecard.
Through extending the reach of the existing tools and databases, like TMview and DesignView to third countries, and providing support to the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights outside the EU, international cooperation at EUIPO is expected to provide the following benefits:
- Increase cooperation to converge tools and practices
- Increase public awareness on IP rights and infringements thereof
- Enhance knowledge sharing, skills and methodologies
The EUIPO has consolidated its close cooperation with the European Commission to promote robust intellectual property (IP) systems outside the EU through IP projects. The projects aim to promote innovation, enhance the capacities of non-EU IP Offices and increase IP protection. The overall objective is to level the playing field for EU companies, and generate investment and better jobs.
The EUIPO supports EU Policy abroad in the IP field as an implementing agency. It also provides an average of 30 % of the overall budget.
The projects currently being implemented are IP Key China, IP Key Latin America, IP Key South-East Asia, ARISE+ IPR, CarIPI, AfrIPI and EUGIPP. Work within the projects is undertaken in close coordination with the European External Action Service, the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and four Directorates-General of the European Commission: Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Trade, International Partnerships and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.
The Office also carries out bilateral cooperation with IP offices in non-EU countries or regional organisations subject to a prior internal and external cost-benefit analysis. Any initiative has to follow EU policies and priorities in international cooperation, taking into consideration the existing Association Agreements, Free Trade Agreements and the cooperation policies settled by the EU for regional areas such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, and with the Management Board of the Office kept informed. This arrangement will ensure that the Office operates within its mandate and its existing institutional framework and in full coherence with EU international policy.
Multilateral and other international cooperation
The Office cooperates with other international organisations like the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the European Patent Organisation (EPO) on projects of mutual interest. The Office also participates in the TM5 and ID5 groupings, made up of the five largest trade mark and design offices in the world, which exchange information and collaborate on projects in the interests of their users.
EUIPO IP Attaché Network
The need for specific geographical knowledge in the IP field is progressively growing. The EUIPO is deploying IP experts in certain regions or countries where the European Commission (DG Trade) requires to reinforce its capacity in the IP area to offer expert support to EU businesses. Among other things, IP Attachés represent the EUIPO and facilitate the relations with the respective country/region’s authorities and stakeholders in the field of IP, including trade marks and designs.
IP Attachés answer to both on the European Commission and on the EUIPO. Currently, there are IP Attachés deployed in the European Delegation in China, in Latin America (Argentina) and the South East Asia region (Thailand). Additionally, an IP expert has been seconded to the EU Delegation in Geneva in the context of the bilateral relations with international organisations, in particular WIPO. Another attaché has been seconded to the European Commission (DG Trade) in Brussels, supporting policy-makers with IP expertise.