Tim Lince, 23 October 2023
In a historic visit, EUIPO executive director João Negrão has led a European delegation to Kyiv in a bid to formalise the agency’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s integration into the EU IP system. Speaking to WTR, Negrão says that the visit “reinforces the EUIPO’s role as an effective interlocutor for Ukraine in dialogue with EU partners”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the EUIPO has repeatedly implemented measures to help parties affected by the conflict. Among other things, it has granted an extension to all parties in proceedings before the agency that have a residence or registered office in Ukraine. To date, this two-month extension has been granted nine times.
In July, it forged a new partnership with the Ukrainian National Office for Intellectual Property and Innovations (UANIPIO) when representatives met in Geneva to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to “mark the beginning” of cooperation between the two parties.
This week, that partnership has reached a new level with Negrão’s visit to Kyiv. Under the auspices of an EU delegation to Ukraine, the meeting has brought together representatives from various EU national IP offices. The primary objective, the EUIPO states, has been to strengthen cooperation between the parties, focusing on supporting Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN). Today, Negrão and UANIPIO director Olena Orliuk officially signed a two-year work plan.
Implemented over the next two years, the plan includes:
One of the meeting’s major focuses has been on the challenges posed by the ongoing war in Ukraine and the need for collective efforts to address – and minimise the adverse effects of – IP issues. Discussions have also focused on exploring the role of intellectual property and innovation in Ukraine’s post-war recovery and enhancing its investment ecosystem.
The fact that the EUIPO is taking a lead role in supporting Ukraine’s efforts to become an EU member is notable. Negrão commented on the importance of the agency’s mission to collaborate with the UANIPIO, stating: “The work plan not only stresses the EUIPO and the EU national offices’ commitment to support our Ukrainian partners in the run-up to EU accession, it also reinforces our role as an effective interlocutor for Ukraine in the dialogue with the EU partners.”
Orliuk views this week’s visit as “the formulation of a vision for a shared future in which IP and innovation will play a pivotal role”, adding: “The decisions and documents of [these] meetings will make a substantial contribution to this endeavor. We deeply value the support of our steadfast partners on this challenging yet irreversible journey.”
At another event held today, the deputy head of the EU delegation to Ukraine, Rémi Duflot, said that the visit has brought parties “to a new level of cooperation and ambition of our reforms”. The discussions – being held today and tomorrow – should prove productive for all parties, he added.
“I am shocked by the consequences that Russia is causing by waging war against Ukraine – the losses and damage it causes, in particular to the creative industries,” said Duflot. “At the same time, this war shows intellectual property in a new light; IP is now seen as a very important element of rebuilding Ukraine, attracting enough investment and creating a predictable stable environment that investors are currently looking for. I hope that within two days we will have a lot of productive solutions – and the roadmap that will result will bring Ukraine to the European IP family through the exchange of experience, knowledge and best practices.”
The strengthening of ties between the EUIPO and the UANIPIO is a pivotal step towards Ukraine’s integration into the EU IP system, as well as bringing the country a step closer to full EU membership. For that reason, trademark owners in Europe stand to gain, as it paves the way for a more robust and diverse IP environment, while also safeguarding any current or future interests in Ukraine.
Link to the source: worldtrademarkreview.com