Highlights from the 33rd EUIPO User Group Meeting

EUIPO’s 33rd User Group Meeting was held in Alicante, Spain on October 17th. Iiris Adenius from Ornamo Art and Design Finland represented BEDA in the meeting along with 12 other User Associations.

Highlights:
The current economic situation is reflected in the number of trademark and design applications that the EUIPO has received this year. Number of applications has dropped 13% for trademarks and 3% for designs.

European Union has introduced restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine which are applied in the EUIPO.

New developments:
New EUIPO webpage will be released in 2023.
European IP information center is under development.
Design Easy filing system, which is targeted for SMEs, is scheduled to start in the beginning of next year.

SME Fund:
The EUIPO has received almost 20 000 applications for the SME Fund in 2022 and 9000 SMEs have received financial support through the fund with over 7 million euros paid in total.

New features in the SME Fund program include:
• Simpler and faster application and refund process
• More flexibility with voucher covering several IP activities
• Higher reimbursement rates
• More fees covered, e.g. WIPO fees
• New eligible IPRs will be included in the scope, including national patents)

Most applicants were registering IP rights for the first time. This is significant, as according to the 2022 Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard published in September 2022 only 10 % of EU SMEs own registered IP rights. However, 93 % of SMEs with registered IP rights say they experienced a positive impact from registering them. The SME Fund helps SMEs to identify their IP rights and to utilize them in a strategic way. Both vouchers are again open for applications until December 16th.

If you have feedback regarding EUIPO’s services you would like to share or discuss, you can contact Iiris Adenius at iiris.adenius@ornamo.fi or office@beda.org.

More information on the SME Fund: see HERE

More information on the 2022 Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard: see HERE

Image credit: Jérome Coulonvaux