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Europe - IP Glossary - C


Certification mark

(also called guarantee mark) is a trademark capable of distinguishing goods or services which have been certified by the owner as meeting certain requirements for certification. Unlike collective marks no membership to an association is necessary and all that is required is compliance with the standards in respect of material, mode of manufacture, quality or other characteristics set by the owner of the mark. A certification mark may not be owned by a natural or legal person currently engaged in the supply of goods or services which the trademark seeks to certify.


is the abbreviation for the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007/2013), which was one of the funding instruments of the EU to support research and innovation. CIP focused on the competitiveness of enterprises, in particular of SMEs.

Circumvention devices

are primarily designed, produced or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of technical measures that prevent unauthorised copying or restrict unauthorised access to copyright works.

Collaborative Projects

are research projects with the aim of generating new knowledge. This new knowledge can be used to develop a new technology, process or product. They can vary in size, scope and budget, depending upon the proposed topic and theme.

Collective Mark

is a trademark capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the members of an association from those of undertakings external to the association. The trademark is owned by the association which must ensure that the standards required for its use are respected by all its members who use the mark in the course of trade.

Computer-implemented invention (CII)

is an invention which involves the use of a computer, computer network or other programmable apparatus, where one or more features are realised wholly or partly by means of a computer program.

Confidential information

 is information of a confidential nature that may include information of a personal, scientific, industrial, business, or commercial nature, that is not available to the public.

Confidentiality agreement

also known as non-disclosure agreement (NDA), refers to the written agreement that parties use when they wish to disclose information and ideas in confidence. This agreement therefore establishes the obligation of the recipient (i.e. the legal person to whom the information is disclosed) to not disclose the information and ideas to third parties. A confidentiality agreement is crucial for an inventor or any other party that needs to protect confidential information.


is - in general - a group of institutions or companies acting together in the same project under common interest. In FP7 and Horizon 2020 it refers to all the participants in the same project.

Consortium Agreement

is an agreement that participants conclude between themselves for the implementation of the project in FP7 and Horizon 2020. The agreement allows the participants to determine the detailed administrative and management provisions necessary to carry out their project. Within this agreement, parties also outline the rights and responsibilities of each member of the consortium concerning intellectual property. This agreement cannot contradict or negate the provisions established by the Grant Agreement or the Rules for Participation.

Coordination and support action

in Horizon 2020, refers to an action consisting primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructure, and may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries.


in FP7 and Horizon 2020, is the member of the consortium who is the principal point of contact on behalf of the members of the consortium in relations with the Commission or the relevant funding body. The coordinator is identified as such in the Grant Agreement.


is the legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher or distributor to the exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work.


the Community Research and Development Information System is the European Commission's primary public repository and portal to disseminate information on all EU-funded research projects and their results in the broadest sense.


is the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which runs from 2014 to 2020. It is an EU-funded programme meant to support enterprises and SMEs, in particular through measures aimed at facilitating their internationalisation, access to market, and access to finance. It is the successor to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme (EIP) under CIP.


a practice of intentional imitation of a genuine article and selling it under a genuine article’s brand name without the brand owner’s authorization with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

Customs actions

are the measures taken by customs authorities against counterfeiting and piracy when goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights are entering a customs territory in the EU. Such measures can be taken on the authorities’ own initiative or upon explicit request from a right holder. When goods suspected of infringing its intellectual property rights enter the territory of a Member State, the right holder may file an application for action at the relevant customs authorities. Customs actions are an important instrument for the enforcement of IP rights.