EUIPO guidance on designs in the Metaverse
As use of the metaverse increases, protection of registered designs in the metaverse will become of greater importance.
The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the new Ukrainian National Office for Intellectual Property and Innovations (UANIPIO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The primary focus of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine in the field of intellectual property, and the MoU is a significant milestone in Ukraine’s journey towards closer integration into the EU Single Market.
These developments come in the wake of the EU’s wider assistance to Ukraine’s war effort and EU candidate status (more details of which can be found here).
The specific measures to enact that support were announced in late-October after a visit to Kyiv by the EUIPO’s Executive Director.
The support comprises a two-year ‘work plan’ designed to harmonise the UANIPIO with the EUIPO in its Trade Mark and Design examination and enforcement. Specific measures announced as part of the work plan include:
The parties also discussed means by which the UANIPIO might join the European Union IP Network (EUIPN) in the future – the network formed to foster cooperation between the EUIPO and the EU member states’ national IP offices, international partners and EUIPO customers.
The work plan builds upon an agreement in July 2023 to extend the EUIPO’s SME Fund, which is otherwise reserved for EU member-states’ SMEs, to Ukraine in order to support Ukrainian businesses (SME Fund extended to support Ukrainian businesses – EUIPO (europa.eu)). That agreement will allow Ukrainian SMEs to potentially take advantage of a 25% reduction in Trade Mark and Design fees payable to the EUIPO and EU national IP offices.
Wilson Gunn is a European IP firm. For more information, or assistance with protecting your IP in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world (whether the EU or beyond), please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our attorneys.