SMEs, innovators and entrepreneurs have at hand a new tool to control potential infringements of their IP rights with the new IP Enforcement Portal. Want to know what it is and what are its new features?
In the EU, if you want customs to be active on your behalf at the EU border, detaining goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPR), you must first file a customs application for action (AFA).
Since 13 December 2021, all AFAs should be filed and managed electronically. With the go live of the new eAFA release, the IP Enforcement Portal (IPEP) will become the single AFA efiling and management point for 24 Member States and the alternative system for the other three (DE, ES, and IT).
How can rights holders access the IP Enforcement Portal?
To file and manage AFAs in IPEP, rights holders or their legal representatives can access IPEP using either their IPEP credentials or by using their EU Customs Trader Portal (UUM/DS) credentials.
To request an account in IPEP, rights holders need to indicate here a valid EU trade mark or design on the basis of which the account is requested.
Find here more information on how to access IPEP.
What about legal representatives?
Legal representatives can also request an account on behalf of their rights holder.
They can access the tool through a ‘legal representative’ account in the IP Enforcement Portal created through a client’s (rights holder’s) account. A legal representative can manage multiple rights holder accounts, depending on how many rights holders they have with accounts in the Portal (please find here detailed instructions for legal representatives).
Overall AFA Management through IPEP
With the go live of the eAFA, rights holders will be able to manage all their AFAs through IPEP. This is because from that point forward it will be fully integrated with the customs database COPIS, which contains all the AFA information.
Once they have logged into their IPEP account, through the EORI numbers entered they will be able to see all of their AFAs which will be retrieved from COPIS.
This is a big development for the tool which, over the past few years has been steadily improving and growing its community of rights holders and enforcement authorities. This will be the first step towards the paperless AFA, which will soon be followed by the introduction of the digital signature.
To help the smooth transition of the IPEP community, the landing page of the IP Enforcement Portal has been updated to include an eAFA toolkit with accompanying training material. For any enquiries, please feel free to contact the IPEP team on firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more, please refer to the EUIPO's website.
* Original text from the EUIPO (2022)
- Publication date
- 21 February 2022