ARIPO SIGNS MoU WITH EUIPO

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The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on 3 October signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) on mechanisms for bilateral cooperation in activities related to trademarks and industrial designs as well as enforcement.  

The 5 year agreement renews the cooperation between ARIPO and the EUIPO {formerly Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) [OHIM]}, which was first entered into on 8 June 1999 and was further reviewed and extended in 2011.

This agreement calls for the two parties to cooperate on several areas that include; the publication of trade mark and industrial design data on EUIPO online information and classification systems, namely, TMview, DesignView, TMclass and Designclass; on activities concerning harmonization of trade mark and design examination practices and on awareness raising activities, such as seminars on the protection of trademarks and designs and also on enforcement related matters.

The Offices also agreed to cooperate on training programmes including joint seminars or workshops and other training initiatives.

The Offices will hold annual meetings of experts to discuss major pending issues in the field of trade mark and design.

Further, there shall be cooperation in the development and expansion of IT, automation and modernization schemes as well as in the exchange of statistical data regarding trademarks and designs.

Additionally, there shall be secondment opportunities to either office of examiners or other staff as may be mutually agreed. 

The parties also agreed that the EUIPO may consider exporting and sharing with ARIPO the EUIPO-developed Similarity Tool, Harmonized Database and the CESTO Examination Tool.

They also agreed to cooperate in other areas like Quality / ISO certification, setting up of IP economic-related studies, such as the EUIPO/EPO study on IP intensive industries and their contribution to economic performance and employment.

On the topical issue of enforcement, the Offices will exchange information on their respective IP enforcement related activities and may identify areas for developing common initiatives.