The latest workshop in the popular MARQUES series on Mastering the Hague Agreement took place in Rotterdam on 13 February.
Nearly 50 people attended, including IP practitioners from industry, law firms and IP firms from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and beyond.
“It was good to see many new faces, including some younger ones, alongside regular MARQUES participants,” said Willem Leppink of Ploum Rotterdam Law Firm, who introduced the programme.
“We received very good feedback from the participants, who said they don’t often get a chance to hear about this topic in this kind of detail,” he added. “Design work is growing, but it can be hard to get the right information about the prosecution and registration phases.”
Like previous MARQUES events on the Hague System, the seminar provided practical tips on filing applications through the Hague System, addressing questions such as: What are the advantages of filing drawings compared to photos? What kinds of drawings are best? And what role should disclaimers play?
The speakers were Päivi Lähdesmäki, Senior Advisor, The Hague Registry, WIPO, Switzerland and Ellen Gevers, Partner, Knijff Trademark Attorneys, The Netherlands.
The first presentation focused on the experiences gained since South Korea, Japan and the USA acceded to the Hague System. “European applicants are generally not used to receiving refusals in relation to design applications: you just file and it is accepted. But with these new accessions, you know you will get refusals so you are confronted with the problem much earlier. You need to be prepared for that,” said Willem.
The second presentation, by Ellen Gevers, also covered the recent Cofemel judgment from the CJEU. "This was very interesting especially from a Dutch perspective,” said Willem. “We are very used to copyright with a low threshold, so we have not realised the importance of the design system. Now we see it is changing.”
The workshop concluded with a drinks reception, during which discussions continued about the issues raised.
The Mastering the Hague Agreement workshop has previously been held in Milan, London, Copenhagen, Munich and Paris.
This article was included in the February 2020 issue of the HouseMARQUES newsletter, which also includes reports on the improved version of DesignView, design filing tips from EUIPO and the deadline for the 2020 DesignEuropa awards as well as other news about MARQUES activities and events.
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