Attended by Elia Sugranes, Deputy Secretary General and Robert Watson, Vice-President CET.
Other organisations represented: AIM, AIPPI, APRAM, ASIPI, BIM, Business Europe, CITMA, ECTA, MARQUES, FEMIPI, ICC and UNION.
The meeting was introduced by Joao Negrao, followed by an address by the Executive Director, Christian Archambeau, which provided a very high level review. He considers that interaction with users will be strengthened under SP2025, which comes into force in July 2025. The Office sees the most important challenge is how to continue to deliver value to users. The plan is based on three strategic drivers – Stakeholders, Users, the Office.
This was followed by an introduction to the draft plan by Miguel Gusmao. The consultation process involves the European Commission and European Parliament. By 2025, the Office expects to receive 210,000 EUTM applications and 135,000 RCD applications. IP Value for Businesses & Citizens in Europe is a key aspect of the plan.
The assembled group was split into two groups; exchange of views on SP2025 initiatives and benefits for users, institution and society, as well as the possibilities for the involvement of users in the SP2025.
Summary of Workshops
- Happy with EUIPO being present in non-EU settings, as long as supporting EU undertakings
- Need to keep a focus on key services of granting TM and RCDs, but good to see interest in other services
- Increased customer focus of all of the Office would be useful
- The Office should avoid giving advice as opposed to information
SD1 – generally supportive, with some caution of over-reaching of the office. As the Office looks to develop new relationships, it was thought checking in with users to see if the proposals are suitable.
SD2 – experience of auditing have been very positive, and it would be good to extend to new areas. The Office should plan a thorough review of current services to look for inconsistent results. For some of the new services, more clarity on these in the plan would be helpful – for example, on IP Valuation, the Office would be better directed to providing data and tools to support such services.
SD3 – no real issues here
The initial reaction of the Office showed positive engagement with the comments from the workshops – many of the comments would be taken into account either in the plan or the subsequent work plans.
A few other areas of specific interest that came up in the workshops were the need for the Office to introduce a clear framework for users contacting them, including reliable means for contacting examiners. The Key User Programme currently has about 750 members – to join a user needs a EUIPO current account, and to have all communications with the office via e-comms.
After a pleasant lunch, we continued with a session of consultation on new European Cooperation Projects led by Jose Izquierdo. Generally, the feedback from the users was supportive of the plans, with a few detailed comments. In particular, it was noted that CP6 (SMEs) should offer practical support, and will likely have the most impact on users. There was also interest in what interest there is amongst national IP offices in the new projects in ECP8. We were told that comments on the ECPs may be submitted up to the Liaison meeting, which is due to take place from 22 to 24 October 2019. It is worth noting that working groups under the new ECPs will likely now start until October 2020.
The slides presented are below.