Countdown to ECTA


Although the INTA Annual Meeting has just finished, European IP professionals have another opportunity to meet, mingle and discuss the latest novelties in the field of IP. European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA) is organizing their annual meeting from 22 June to 25 June, 2016. The venue is the historic town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. With its colorful naval and merchant past, the organizers considered it to be symbolic to what is currently happening with the new trademark protection system, and named this year´s conference “Rogue Waves and Crosswinds: Trade Marks in Motion”. Although the program predicts a plethora of topics, they will all be emphasizing the new EU Legislative Package Trademark Reform. Although you will get a daily summary of the event, this is a short introduction to the planned discussions, workshops and events.

The Conference starts on Wednesday, 22 June 2016, with Committee Meetings, followed by the workshop “Award of damages in trade mark cases: Perspectives from the United States and the European Union”. With Mr. David Donahue representing the American colors, the European perspective will be observed from multiple standpoints: Mr. Simon Miles will confer the British, Dr. Richard Dissmann the German and Mr. David Pellisé the Spanish points of view. Comparing such versatile systems is sure to lead to an interesting panel discussion afterwards. The next workshop is organized by EUIPO, where Mrs. Inge Buffolo will hold a presentation on the new classification tools, mainly HDB. HDB is an abbreviation for Harmonised Database, the largest multilingual database of goods and services. The advantages of using the HDB are the pre-approval of terms by all national IP offices, as well as EUIPO, and the instant translation into all EU languages, which makes the process of registration run more smoothly.

The second day of the Conference starts with a Welcome speech by the ECTA Organizing Committee, followed by the Keynote speech by Mr. Emil Tedeschi. He is the founder, President and CEO of Atlantic Group, a leading food and beverages producer and distributor in South East Europe, and one of the most prominent and versatile Croatian entrepreneurs. After his speech, a short overview of the latest IP news is planned. Mr. António Campinos from EUIPO will start off with a report on trademark cooperation, whether it is between the National and Regional IP Offices and other IP Organizations, like in The European Trade Mark and Design Network (EUTMDN), or international, like within the TM5. Next, Dr. Michael Koenig from the European Commission will update us on EU Trade Mark Reform implementation, followed by Mrs. Àsta Valdimarsdòttir from WIPO, who will give us the new information on Madrid, Hague and other Treaties. The discussion will be closed with the update on status of the .eu domain, given by Marc van Wesemael, the General Manager of EURID. The next two sessions address the changes in the European Trade Mark Legislative Package. We will be introduced to crucial changes in the registration system, as well as their impact on current and future trademarks. The final session of the day is dedicated to counterfeiting, another burning issue in IP. The recent publication of OECD/EUIPO report showed some worrying figures, and the discussion on anti-piracy policy and enforcement, as well as its impact on trademark reform is expected to be very stimulating.

The final working day starts with two parallel sessions. The first one is on copyright, dealing with problems of modern technology, both from a legal and a music professional´s point of view, as well as with the thin line between necessary exceptions and fair use. The second session is on Prior Right Agreements, again opposing an industry perspective and a legal one. After a short break, the participants of the Conference can choose to attend a session on Chinese trademark law and practice, its current and future challenges, and the cooperation of China and the EU within the IPR Working Group. Alternatively, there is a possibility of attending the WIPO session on successfully filing a global trademark. The next session, titled “Rogue Waves and Crosswinds” by Mr. Mladen Vukmir will encapsulate the past, present and future of intellectual property and its meaning in today´s digital world. The final session of the Conference will bring us up to date with current case law.

We intend to post an update during the conference on important key issues.