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Intellectual Property Newsletter

EUIPO’s approach to virtual goods and NFTs

For classification purposes, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published a short guidance on Metaverse and NFTs trademarks, explaining that the virtual goods are treated as digital content or images, therefore they will be registered in Class 9, however must be further specified by stating the content to which the virtual goods relate.

On the other hand, EUIPO considers that the term NFT on its own is not acceptable as it is treated as a unique digital certificate registered in a blockchain, which authenticates digital items but is distinct from those digital items, hence the type of digital item authenticated by the NFT must be specified.

There has been an exponential increase in the application for registration of trademarks for services in Metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Starting in 2023, the 12th Edition of the Nice Classification will enter into force and will incorporate the term “downloadable digital files authenticated by non-fungible tokens” in Class 9.

Memorandum of Understanding between the IP Offices of the CPLP

Portugal was the host of the First Lusophone Days of Industrial Property, on June 23 and 24, and a Memorandum of Understanding of Cooperation between the CPLP Member States was signed, which established the Lusophone Industrial Property Days with annual regularity, in a rotating manner between all countries, in alphabetical order, aiming the transfer of knowledge,  the continuous improvement and valorization of the frameworks of national entities that hold responsibility for the attribution of Industrial Property Rights, through a regular sharing of experiences, discussion and reflection of topics of common interest.

The next member state to host the Lusophone Industrial Property Days will be Angola in 2023.

EU: Improved cross-border access to electronic evidence

The EU Parliament and Council have recently found a political agreement on the core elements of the framework for the regulation of cross-border issuing and securing of electronic evidence and other new e-evidence rules, to make investigation of cyber-crimes easier between Member States (MS).

It is now foreseeable that the final legislative package and respective Directive will be ready to adopt in 2022, representing a major paradigm shift in police and judicial cooperation with service providers in the EU.

Investigating authorities will have to inform the authorities of the other EU MS and give them an opportunity to refuse an order in specific circumstances, in particular when fundamental rights, specifically the right to a fair trial and related procedural safeguards, privacy and data protection are at stake.

Furthermore, the direct requests, that for the first time national investigating authorities will be able to make to service providers will be conducted through an EU platform, guaranteeing its authenticity and the safety and confidentiality of its data.

Nevertheless, to protect the cases where the MS does not comply with the fundamental rights or restricts media freedom, specifically, service providers can also bring surrender orders not only to the attention of the issuing authority, but also to the authorities of the country in which they are located.

Portuguese Intellectual Property Court: 10 years of activity

It was on March 30, 2012, that the 1st Division of the Intellectual Property Court saw its installation come into effect in Portugal, being that its 2nd Division was urgently installed with effects from approximately one year later.

It had long been felt the need to create a single court with exclusive competence for intellectual property matters and with national scope, in order to combat the delays, high costs and divergent jurisprudential solutions that intellectual property cases entailed in Portugal.

In September 2014, the 3rd Court of the Intellectual Property Court was created, with advantages in terms of the celerity in processing cases and appeals by this Court.

The new age approaching - The Unitary Patent

Since 2012, the creation of the European patent with unitary effect has been regulated and 2022 is the year in which the project is expected to fully see the light of day.

To this end, the Convention on the Unified Patent Court should enter into force, which requires ratification by the three Member States that had the most patents in force in 2012, Germany’s deposit of its instrument of ratification being awaited, which has already been approved internally by the end of 2020.

On January 19, 2022, the Protocol of Provisional Application to the Unified Patent Court entered into force, with an expected duration of eight months, being that it is expected that Germany will ratify the Convention when the Unified Patent Court is in effective working condition.

As the unitary patent regime will enter into force three months after Germany’s ratification of the Convention, the new era is expected to begin later this year or early in 2023.

European Court of Auditors audited the protection of IPR

The European Court of Auditors carried out an audit analyzing the protection of EU trademarks, designs, and geographical indications in the single market between 2017 and 2021, presenting recommendations to improve the IPR regulatory framework, their implementation and monitoring of compliance.

The Court concluded that, in general, the EU framework on IPR protection is sound, but continues to show weaknesses.

Among them, in particular, the legislation on EU designs is incomplete and outdated and Member States have not uniformly applied the Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, and there are still weaknesses in the implementation of customs controls to ensure the compliance with legislation.

 

Authors:

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.

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