Sunday Surprises

We are already well into the new year and the news and upcoming new events are coming thick and fast. The IPKat sets out the news in one spot for your attention!


European Commission | European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

"EU SME Fund"

On 10 January, the Commission and the EUIPO launched the new EU SME Fund, which provides vouchers to help EU-based SMEs protect their intellectual property rights. This is the second EU SME fund to support SMEs in their COVID -19 economic recovery and green and digital transformation over the next three years (2022-2024). The €47 million EU SME fund provides for the reimbursement of 90% of the fees charged by the Member States for IP scanning services that perform a comprehensive assessment of the intellectual property needs of the applicant SME, taking into account the innovation potential of its intangible assets. In addition, 75% of the fees charged by IP offices (including national IP offices, EUIPO and the Benelux IP Office) for the registration of trade marks and designs will be reimbursed. In addition, the fund provides for the reimbursement of 50% of the fees charged by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for obtaining international trademark and design protection, as well as the reimbursement of 50% of the fees charged by national patent offices for patent applications in 2022. For more information on the background to the initiative and EUIPO's call for proposals, click here.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) | Alicante News | January 2022 

First-page article “Green with…IP” by Eleonora Rosati

Alicante News is the EUIPO's newsletter and discussion forum published once a month and containing information on trade mark and design law, as well as the Office's administration and practice. In the latest issue of January 2022, you will find on the first page the article "Green with...IP" by Eleonora Rosati on the relationship between respect for and protection of the environment and the efforts of companies and brand owners to achieve sustainability in production processes. Also, the article mentions the study of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights entitled "Green EU Trade Marks Report", which shows the increasing frequency with which goods and services specifications of EU Trade Marks reflect issues related to environmental protection and sustainability. The study shows that filings of “green” EUTMs have increased significantly since the Office began operations in 1996, both in absolute figures and as a proportion of all EUTM filings. The latest issue of Alicante News which includes the article is freely available here.


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

"Copyright Infrastructure Webinars"

19th of January 2022 (13:00 – 14:00) Geneva Time
2nd of February (13:00 – 14:00) Geneva Time
16th of February 2022 (13:00 – 14:00) Geneva Time

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is organizing a series of webinars on copyright infrastructures, where a range of speakers from the public and private sectors will speak on a range of topics relevant to copyright infrastructures, such as metadata, identifiers, technology solutions, and WIPO services. The webinars are open to Member State representatives and observers, as well as the general public, and will be held approximately every two weeks in the form of one-hour lunchtime sessions with a presentation followed by a Q&A session.

In January and February WIPO will host webinars on the following topics: "ISNI: Numbering public names for the creative industries", "Rights Data and Identifiers for Musical Works and Rights Holders" and "Rights data and identifiers for performers". For more information and online registration, click here.

FIDE | Global Digital Encounters #18 

IP and Videogames

20th of January 2022 | 16:00 – 17:00 CET

On the 20th of January 2022, FIDE will hold its 18th Global Digital Encounter on the topic: “IP and Videogames”. The panel will focus on raised questions such as: could video games be defined as a piece of art, with all its meanings in terms of copyright? What are the boundaries on copyright protection for video games? What about the image rights of celebrities used in video games? How can the theory of IP exhaustion be applied to the case of video games? How does consumer protection law interact with video games under the current IP framework? Which role for platforms and Internet Service Providers? Should IP Protection be currently further enhanced? More information and registration for the event are available here.

The University of Hong Kong | Law & Technology Centre | Conference (Hybrid format)

Redesigning Intellectual Property Protection in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

26th of January 2022 | 10:00 – 13:10 (Hong Kong Time)
25th of January 2022 | 09:00 – 12:10 (US Eastern Standard Time)

The Law & Technology Centre of the University of Hong Kong will hold a conference (in a hybrid format) on the influence of Artificial Intelligence on Intellectual Property. The symposium will be conducted via Zoom and divided into two panels that focus on AI and Patent Protection and AI and Copyright protection. Registration should be done through this link. The full programme and list of speakers are available here.

OxFirst | Webinar

The Non-Infringing Alternative in Monetary Remedies in Canadian Patent Law

27th of January 2022 | 15:00 – 16:00 GMT | 16:00 – 17:00 CET

On January 27, OxFirst will host a webinar on the role of the "non-infringing alternative" in assessing damages and accounting for profits in Canadian patent cases. This doctrine allows an infringer to argue that it would have been able to compete with the patentee as well or nearly as well if it had used a non-infringing alternative, so that damages (or profits to be paid) can be reduced, in some cases to zero. The webinar will show how the doctrine is based on traditional "but for"causation principles, illustrate its application in some of the most important cases, discuss some of the key objections, and discuss some of the subtleties that have emerged from Canadian case law. The webinar will be led by Professor Norman Siebrasse. Registration is available here.

UCLouvain | Centre Droit Entreprise et Société (CRIDES) | Conference (Hybrid format)

"The Unified Patent Court System: remaining weaknesses and possible adjustments"  

28th of January 2022 | 9.00-17.30 CET

On January 28, 2022, CRIDES will hold a conference (in a hybrid format) on the Unified Patent Court System in cooperation with the "Association Internationale de Droit Economique" (A.I.D.E.). The programme will address the history and problems of the new UPC system, macro-level issues and how to possibly rethink it, micro-level issues and possible improvements. Registration is free but must be completed via this registration form by January 28, 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to participate remotely via Microsoft Teams. The web link and practical information will be emailed prior to the workshop. For more information and the full programme, click here.

Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI) | Conference (Online)

International Conference on Intellectual Property

3rd of February 2022 | 09:00 – 18:20 (CET)

On February 3, 2022, the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) will organise a conference on IP challenges in the context of economic recovery. The conference will revolve around the following topics: the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court, sovereignty and SMEs, artisanal and industrial geographical indications, and the anti-counterfeiting bill under discussion in the French Parliament. Registration is free and available through this form. The full programme and agenda can be found here.

Goldsmiths (University of London) | Online Symposium

Trade Secrets for Scholars and Practitioners

24th February and 25th of February 2022
Start: 3:00 pm (GMT) 10:00 am (EST) 4:00 pm (CET)
End: 6.15 pm (GMT) 1:15 pm (EST) 7:15 pm (CET)

Are you a PhD Student or Post-Doc working on trade secrets? Former Katonomist Nicola Searle is calling for papers for an online symposium on Trade Secrets for Scholars and Practitioners Thurs 24th & Friday 25th February. The symposium is a chance to speak to experts in your field and receive feedback on your work. For more information on paper submission please click here. For registration and information on the symposium, click here.

The IPKat and Simmons & Simmons

"Retromark: the conference"

24th of May 2022 | UPDATED

Retromark: the conference is back! An in-person version of Darren Meale’s trade mark updates will run on the afternoon of Tuesday 24 May 2022 (pushed back from 3 March for obvious reasons) in association with the IPKat. The event will take place at the Moorgate offices of Simmons & Simmons from 2pm and drinks and canapes will be served in the evening. Sir Robin Jacob will lead a host of big-name speakers covering a variety of topical issues. More details and a link to tickets will arrive soon!

Sunday Surprises Sunday Surprises Reviewed by Giorgio Luceri on Sunday, January 16, 2022 Rating: 5

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