PCEI supports EEIA and EMECA in lobbying in EU instititions for changes in EU Council Regulation on community designs

In July 2015 Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry officialy supported the lobbying actvities of EEIA (the European Exhibition Industry Alliance) and EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centers Association) towards the European Commission to draw their attention to the need of amending the EU Council Regulation no. 6/2002 on community designs. The aim of the European exhibition industry professionals is to bring the changes which introduce and recognize the term „international trade fairs”, instead of the term „exhibitions” used in the Paris Convention of 1928, treated as the criterium to officialy acknowledge the possibility of issuing the Priority Certificate. The PCEI Position Paper includes the following theses: 1. Trade fairs, particularly those for the B2B sector, are where entrepreneurs – exhibitors present, at one time and in one place, the full range of products from a particular sector, including also innovations, On many occasions, during trade fairs there are presentations of products which are utility models and new industrial designs even before they were submitted to the patent office since exhibitors often treat trade fairs as a test before taking the final decision to move a particular model for production. 2. Trade Fair Organizers are aware of the current global problem, i.e. counterfeiting goods, in particular those which are of innovative character, and they are interested in offering effective assistance to Exhibitors during Trade Fairs in protecting their intellectual property rights. Therefore they are searching for effective methods of preventing and combating the piracy of brands and products – such an efficient instrument of brands and goods protection is the so-called Priority Certificate. Granting the Priority Certificate by Trade Fair Organizers to Exhibitors – the document which is issued pursuant to national legal regulations in order to prove that a certain item was presented at a particular trade fair, which was of an innovative character – a utility model or an industrial design, and its temporary protection, is, in the opinion of Trade Fair Organizers from the leading countries and exhibition markets of the European Union, including Germany – the largest exhibition market in Europe, an effective weapon in fighting against piracy of brands and products. 3. Unfortunately Exhibition Priority Certificates honoured by patent offices of many European Union member states are not respected by the European Patent Office. According to our knowledge, this fact was one of the reasons behind the 2007 amendment of the Polish Act on Industrial Property, as a result of which on November 1, 2007, Trade Fair Organizers in Poland lost the privilege of granting Priority Certificates to Exhibitors. 4. The reason for this highly unfavourable situation is article 44 of the EU Council Regulation no. 6/2002 on community designs, based on which the European Patent Office approves exclusively Priority Certificates issued at EXPO Exhibitions because they are the only ones listed in Convention on International Exhibitions signed in Paris in 1928, amended in 1972, and ratified by 157 countries. Meanwhile, they are not EXPO exhibitions (such as EXPO in Milan in 2015), which are used for promoting countries, but modern B2B trade fairs (business-to-business) that are the platform for modern business and a place where international trade starts. 5. Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry is of the opinion that the planned amendment of the wording of the EU Council Regulation no. 6/2002 should bring about such changes which would render it possible to officially deem the Priority Certificate as an important instrument which would equip Trade Fair Organizers in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting of goods. Hence Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry fully supports the position presented in the paper of Match 27, 2015, by EMECA – European Major Exhibition Centers Association (EMECA Position Paper), which represents the leaders of the European exhibition industry, including Poznań International Fair – the leader of the Polish exhibition market. The position suggests Priority Certificates to be acknowledged by the Office for Harmonization for the Internal Market (hereinafter referred to as OHIM), in the same way as they are currently acknowledged by national patent offices. In this manner European enterprises would have the same conditions for registering industrial designs both at national and European level. 6. To this end Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry is motioning for the approval by the European Commission of the EMECA proposal concerning: the introduction the term to the wording of the EU Council Regulation no. 6/2002: International Trade Fairs to replace the term Exhibitions used in the Paris Convention. The term International Trade Fairs is widely applied by UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and other leading trade fair organizations, including AUMA – the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (the leading European exhibition market), in promotional and lobbying activities in front of the European Union Member States authorities and globally. 7. We express our belief that if the planned amendment to the EU Council Regulation no. 6/2002 were to become an opportunity to officially acknowledge the Priority Certificate as an important instrument for Trade Fair Organizers to combat piracy and counterfeiting of goods, then the counterfeiters would be discouraged from acting at Trade Fairs and Exhibitors would obtain much better protection and the right to apply for early registration within six months from finishing of a particular Trade Fair. This in turn would be the official confirmation of the high quality of the European exhibition industry and the importance of Trade Fairs for the development of various sectors of the industry in Europe and it would be a contribution of Trade Fairs organized in Europe to the development of the European economy. If Trade Fairs become a safe place for presentation of novelties / innovations, this fact will encourage enterprises, particularly small and medium sized ones, to invest in innovations and trade. All this together will foster the dynamics of trade exchange and consequently the economic growth in Europe. By the above mention Position Paper PCEI wants to stress the significant role of trade fairs as a growth factor of regions and countries and as a platform of innovativeness and competitiveness, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. Source: Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry, August 2015.