The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
The €50m OHIM Cooperation Fund, set up to help reduce differences in practice in trade marks and designs, modernise national offices and make things easier for users, has taken another important step forward with seven new projects getting the go-ahead.
The projects range from the creation of a senority database to tools for examiners and an e-learning platform. EU national offices will now be called upon to sign up for these projects, which will form the basis of the Cooperation Fund annual work plan for 2011, with working groups composed of OHIM and national offices representatives meeting from January onwards to deliver concrete results.
Work is already under way on the development of common software architecture to make sure that all the new tools being developed are able to “talk to each other”. The latest projects to be approved for start are:
In all, the Fund is expected to support 23 projects under four different fields:
Ongoing projects such as the TMview and EuroClass databases are expected to make important advances over the next twelve months and around half of the fund is being devoted to the development of new software packages, intended to significantly improve and ease the accessibility to services offered by national offices.
Many of the other projects will make an important contribution to better communication, or assisting national authorities and enforcement agencies, for example, by providing leading edge search facilities to help them identify infringing goods.
To date, national offices and user associations have been involved at both the project and programme levels. At the project level, project managers have been openly discussing planned content and sharing documents. At the programme level, widespread and positive consultation has taken place with both national offices and user associations.Further details of projects, and updates on progress are available on the OHIM Cooperation Fund page on the website.