Europe Office Stays Busy Through Summer

Europe Office Stays Busy Through Summer

With the EU Institutions closing for the summer recess in late July, activities in the Brussels “EU Bubble” (and indeed throughout Europe) have been more quiet than usual—but are by no means at a standstill.

EU-U.S. Trade Relations and IP

Between July 11 and 15, EU and U.S. trade negotiators met for the 14th round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). On July 13, Milesh Gordhandas, Advisor, Europe Office, attended a presentation of various industry and civil society stakeholders as well as the briefing by the Chief Negotiators. According to the report published by the European Commission on August 4, further discussions are needed in the area of border enforcement, and the importance of the protection of geographical indications was reiterated as being a key priority by the EU side.

On July 14, Hélène Nicora, Representative Officer – Europe, attended the 11th Annual Stakeholder Meeting of the Transatlantic IPR Working Group. The meeting was an opportunity for stakeholders to help shape the agenda of the Working Group with relevant officials from the EU and the U.S. Global bodies such as the World Customs Organization (WCO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) attended as well. The main items discussed were the recent study on the global trade in illegal counterfeits by the OECD and the EU Observatory on IPR Infringements, and the need to find compelling narratives to raise awareness outside the IP community; integrity of global supply chains, reinvigorating the debate on IP at the World Trade Organization TRIPS Council; how to further raise IP awareness with SMEs (part of a chapter in the TTIP); among other topics.

Customs Enforcement of IPR

On July 12, Huib Berendschot (AKD, The Netherlands), member of the Anticounterfeiting Committee—EU Subcommittee, attended the 4th annual meeting between EU Customs, rights holders and stakeholders. This meeting took place within the framework of the EU Customs Action Plan to combat IPR infringements (2013-2017). One of the objectives of this Action Plan is to effectively implement and monitor the EU Regulation (608/2013) on customs enforcement of IPR, which entered into force at the start of 2014. The meeting of July 12 enabled an exchange of views between customs officials and rights holders on the achievements and areas of improvement of the new Regulation. Implementation of the provisions on counterfeit goods in transit from substantive trademark law (namely the EU Trade Mark Regulation and the Trade Marks Directive) was also discussed. Mr. Berendschot was accompanied by Ms. Nicora.

Promoting Trademark Law to Law Students

On July 16, Mr. Gordhandas attended the transition barbecue of the European Law Students Association (ELSA), whereby ELSA members and guests bid farewell to the association’s outgoing International Board and welcomed the incoming one. On August 2, Mr. Gordhandas met formally with three officers from ELSA’s new International Board, including the President. The meeting was an introduction to INTA—in particular its academic activities and student membership—and an opportunity to keep ELSA’s new leaders abreast of the cooperation between ELSA and INTA, which began in 2008.

EUIPO Survey on European Cooperation Project

On August 5, 2016, INTA answered a survey about the European Cooperation Project ECP4 on Convergence Analysis, to better identify possible areas for convergence between EUIPO and EU national IP Offices, on which new projects can be launched.

INTA CEO Visits Brussels

On July 11 and 12, Etienne Sanz de Acedo, INTA CEO, met with journalists Ryan Heath from Politico and Céline Aemisegger from Agencia EFE to discuss topics including the Digital Agenda and the Internet of things, 3D printing, the value of IP, and the impact of “Brexit” on IPRs. Mr. Sanz de Acedo also met with Jean Bergevin, Head of Unit, Intellectual Property and Fight Against Counterfeiting, DG GROW, European Commission, to exchange information on the current IP priorities of the Commission and the future challenges ahead. Mr. Sanz de Acedo also had the opportunity to explore new possibilities to communicate about IP beyond the IP community with Eoin Drea and Margherita Movarelli from the Martens Centre think tank and Andrea Gerosa, founder of Think Young. Mr. Sanz de Acedo was accompanied by INTA Europe Office staff.

For more information on the activities of the INTA Europe Office, contact Christina Sleszynska, Chief Representative Officer – Europe (details here). To keep updated on developments follow @INTABrussels on Twitter.

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