EU signs intellectual property agreement with exhibition industry leaders

EU signs intellectual property agreement with exhibition industry leaders

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has signed collaboration agreements with the European Major Exhibition Centres Association (EMECA) and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

With these agreements, the EUIPO consolidates its connection with exhibition venues and event organisers across the entire value chain, aiming to reach a wider audience that could benefit from the use of Intellectual Property (IP) and EUIPO initiatives.

At EU level, EMECA and UFI have formed the European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA).

Both EMECA and UFI members will hope to benefit from this collaboration by gaining a deeper understanding of why IP can help businesses and how to help exhibitors protect their IP and prevent counterfeiting when showcasing their products at trade fairs. For this the EUIPO will offer expertise through training, webinars, and other collaborative actions.

Inge Buffolo director of the Customer Department in the EUIPO, said: “We hope this partnership will be fruitful and that together we can provide many benefits to EU businesses. The exhibition industry can play a vital role in reaching out to those SMEs that need it the most, showing them how to protect their ideas at trade shows and fairs through our intellectual property initiatives.”

Barbara Weizsäcker, secretary general of EMECA, commented: “We are happy to increase our awareness action together with UFI and via the EEIA towards these companies by signposting the advice and registration options for their IP at EUIPO and the excellent package of services in the framework of the 'Ideas Powered for business' programme.”

Kai Hattendorf, CEO and managing director of UFI, added: “IP is at the core of innovation, and trade shows are the market places for innovation across all industries. UFI is pleased to support EUIPO in their work on making companies less vulnerable and more successful through IP.”

If it does go through, companies in poorer countries will have the legal ability to reproduce big pharmaceutical firms’ vaccines.

The argument for waiving patent and IP rights is it would increase access to vaccines in poorer countries. The counter view is that IP rights and protections are critical to economic development and innovation.

NTD spoke to the policy director of nonprofit group U.S. Inventor to learn more about this.

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