To find out how you can protect your products, projects and designs.
To identify what steps are needed to register your works and products. To
learn to differentiate between the different forms of IP.
In many occasions what makes the difference for
the success of your business or the possibility of having a competitive
advantage is the protection of your product or project to prevent others
That is the
reason why you should be able to differentiate between different concepts. You
also should know the different steps in the process of protecting your product
or your trademark, and the documentation needed.
Let’s face it. Regarding Intellectual Protection,
we must admit the existence of a large regulatory dispersion in Europe, as in
each member state the situation is different. Nevertheless, steps are being
taken to reach harmonisation in IP and trademarks. In fact, there is a European
Union Trademark with overall effects in all member states and a project for a
Likewise, there is a European Intellectual
Property Office, EUIPO whose main goals are to inform, promote and support
European trade mark value for businesses. Please, do not hesitate to ask, they
are there to help you.
At the end of this training fiche
you should have basic information about the types of protection your product or
service can enjoy, not only in your country, but also at European level. On
top, you should be able to identify which are the institutions you have to
address to apply this protection.
Likewise, the information on this
training fiche should help you to reflect upon the relevance of protecting your
products or services and how it can influence your business model and the strategic
decisions that you might adopt in the development of your business plan.
Intellectual Property, business model and business plan
: As we stressed in the training
fiche on the relevance of defining your business model, if you produce products
or services in your business that can be protected, it is key that this element
be part of both, your model and business plan. In this way you can use it as a
resource or opportunity when facing potential investors.
Applying for European trade mark protection
: In this section we will deal with EU trade
mark application as it is European wide:
There are two different ways to
apply for a European trade mark, through the European Union Intellectual
Property Office (EUIPO,
) or through each member state trade
mark and patent offices. In the latter, a reception and transfer fee might be
At the EUIPO site, it can be found a
fast track process for your application with the following steps:
mark details (languages and types).
must specify the products or services your trade mark is going to cover.
this point, the site automatically searches for similar trade marks that might
compete with yours. Depending on the search result you either move to the next
step or go back to specify again your product or services.
Create your user account that
will enable you to manage your trade mark with more advantages and additional
Once your user account is
created, the funny part comes along: You need to confirm and make an upfront
payment. In summer 2016 the fee was 850 €.
Applying for European
: It is the same fast track
process like trade mark. The steps set in the EUIPO website are as follows
Design details (languages and
design). You can add several designs to your application and they must be
uploaded to the site. Should you need to upload images, instructions must be
it is uploaded, you will have to provide indications on your design or
alternatively, refer to an international classification called Locarno. You
must describe your design on a simple way and provide details about the
this point, the portal makes an automatic search through Design View database
to check out for similar designs.
in the trade mark process explained above, a user account must be created that
will enable you to manage all aspects concerning your application.
it is payment time. Up to summer 2016, the fee was a total of 350 €.
Managing your trade mark or design:
This is another important indicator
on your IP management. In relation to European design the protection period lasts
5 years, though it can be renewed four times. Speaking of trade marks, the
protection lasts 10 years, but can be renewed indefinitely. At the end of that
period you can either renew, convert or abandon it.
As we are not expert in all subjects, it is convenient to know your
national contact points should you need to go in depth in any aspect of this
training fiche. Follow the links bellow to access information about national IP
offices contact details in Europe and all around the world:
In relation to Geographical
Indications, we advice you to search in your region or your area to check if there
is any GI you can adhere to depending on your products. Take a look to
associations in your sector, as they normally are key stakeholders in this
Most part of general information about Intellectual Property stems from European Union Your Europe website: http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/start-grow/intellectual-property-rights/index_en.htm
In relation to patents and Industrial property, take a close look at the European Patent Office website, athttp://www.epo.org/index.html
Information on Intellectual Property, trade marks and designs can be reviewed in the EUIPO website. A must if you want further explore about IP. https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/home
On copyright, the website we have gathered the information from is the World Intellectual Property Organisation, http://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/
It has been useful the information about IP and business plan in https://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/sites/default/files/newsdocuments/Fact-Sheet-IP-and-Business-Plans.pdf
Related Training Material:
It is quite interesting training material in all languages offered by EUIPO website. Pay a visit to: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/learning.
Similarly, the WIPO has an academy on their site with face-to-face training and distance learning courses on IP. Take a close look at: http://www.wipo.int/academy/en/
Find out the literature behind OER-CRAFT Project which aims at addressing the capacity and training needs of the micro enterprises across EU.