The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
The Cooperation Fund aims to promote further harmonization, to modernise EU IP offices, and facilitate working methods for users of the European trade mark and design systems.
The Fund encompasses eighteen projects. Sixteen are new tools, and the remaining two – TMview and TMclass – were running ahead of the Fund´s inception. They were subsequently incorporated into the current suite of tools.
The Fund is underpinned by an allocation of €50 million, provided by OHIM.
The first major group of Cooperation Fund tools is now live.
On November 18, 2012, nine tools developed under the Fund were released on the internet.
Each tool was developed on a project basis. The project teams consisted of OHIM staff and EU national office staff, with the benefit of user group input. Three hundred and fourteen people across Europe are working on tool development – making this programme one of the largest collaborative efforts ever undertaken by the OHIM.
The tools released in this wave are:
Two of the tools – the Common User Satisfaction Survey and E-learning for SMEs were originally due to be launched in 2013, but have been completed ahead of schedule.
The launch of these tools is a crucial output of the Strategic Plan of the Office, the vision of which is the creation of a true European Trade Mark and Design Network.
The Cooperation Fund is an important building block of that network; not only is this launch one of the most important releases of tools of this kind, but it also has huge potential benefits throughout the Internal Market, for users and for national offices alike.
The development of software solutions for trade mark and designs procedures is a major outcome of this launch.
Crucially, the tools support enforcement as well; extra modules have been completed for Similarity, Search Image and the Common Examiner Support Tool. These tools represent a concrete result for the Observatory, transferred to OHIM by Regulation on the 5th of June 2012, which will use the tools to underpin key aspects of its work.
The next wave of project launches is set to go ahead before summer 2013.
2013 will also see some 150 implementations of the tools across 26 EU offices.
The tools are available online at the European Trade Mark and Design Network portal: www.tmdn.org