Specialists of the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) participated, on June 10, in a videoconference with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
During the online event, EUIPO representatives presented the Convergence Program implemented by EUIPO jointly with the Intellectual Property (IP) Offices of the Member States. The Convergence Program has the role of connecting EUIPO with the national IP offices and User Associations, within the so-called European Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN), in an effort to reach a common practice where the industrial property offices of the EU Member States have different practices.
The EUIPN has developed a set of common practices, which ensure a uniform approach in the procedures for examining applications for registration of trademarks and designs by national and regional intellectual property offices. These practices cover a number of priority topics of interest for EUIPO and national IP offices, including topics of interest for AGEPI as well, such as:
- extension of trademark protection in black and white;
- relative reasons for refusal - risk of confusion;
- graphic representation of industrial designs, etc.
The AGEPI and EUIPO representatives exchanged information and opinions on the latest developments in the examination of trademark and design applications and agreed on the format of further cooperation and the initiation of projects on the implementation by AGEPI of common practices.
We should mention that the videoconference took place in the context of the implementation of the AGEPI-EUIPO Joint Work Plan for 2020 and is part of the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation between the two offices.
It should be noted that, since the signing of the Memorandum in July 2017, AGEPI and EUIPO have decided to expand cooperation in the field of intellectual property in order to strengthen intellectual property systems and services by organizing joint actions, exchanges of experience and implementing common projects and practices.
We should remind you that, since 2019, AGEPI has joined the DesignClass Classification Tool developed by EUIPO, and since 2018, the Republic of Moldova uses the terms included in the harmonized database within the TMclass Search Tool.
EUIPO is a decentralized EU agency. The Office cooperates closely with the European Commission and its Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW).
The Convergence Program was established in 2011 under the first Strategic Plan of EUIPO (2011-2015), being the result of a collaborative and cooperative effort between EUIPO, national and regional offices, supported by user associations and international organizations.
In December 2015, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU trademark reform package. The package contained two legislative proposals, namely the new Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on the European Union trade mark and Directive (EU) 2015/2436, which aim to approximate the laws of the Member States on trademarks. In addition to the new provisions on procedural and substantive issues, the texts have established a stronger legal basis for cooperation, promoting the convergence of practices and instruments in the field of trademarks and designs.
In June 2016, the EUIPO Management Board agreed on the continuation of European convergence cooperation projects as part of the 2020 Strategic Plan.