Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New Helpdesk to help navigate the IPR maze

The EU's INNOVATION programme last week launched an important new initiative: the establishment of an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Helpdesk, located in Luxembourg.

The new IPR Helpdesk will focus on three tasks:

- To publicise and improve awareness of the importance of...
The EU's INNOVATION programme last week launched an important new initiative: the establishment of an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Helpdesk, located in Luxembourg.

The new IPR Helpdesk will focus on three tasks:

- To publicise and improve awareness of the importance of protecting and exploiting Europe's IPR assets. Special attention will be paid to developments arising from EU-funded RTD Projects;
- To assist researchers in such projects, as well as potential applicants for EU R&D funding, in locating and licensing existing technical developments;
- To support such teams in locating the assistance necessary to register, protect and exploit their inventions.

In fulfilling these tasks, the IPR Helpdesk will establish wide-ranging contacts with Patent Offices, patent lawyers, universities and others involved in IPR in all EU Member States. The IPR Helpdesk will act as a catalyst to link those seeking assistance on IPR issues with organisations able to provide this help. However, the IPR Helpdesk will not make patent applications, conduct searches or negotiate licensing agreements on behalf of those seeking advice. These tasks will continue to be undertaken by established patent lawyers, European and National Patent Offices or patent search organisations.

The IPR Helpdesk is currently setting up its operations, and will soon be ready to handle enquiries by e-mail, fax and telephone. Mr Egbert Cohausz, who will manage the IPR Helpdesk, told CORDIS Focus, "We have already located and equipped our offices, hired our staff and defined our short and medium-term goals. We are now preparing our Telephone Helpline staff to handle inquiries from research laboratories and development teams throughout Europe relating to IPR issues, and will be open for business by the beginning of October."

A well-designed and attractive Website will be the point of contact for most people approaching the IPR Helpdesk for the first time. Multilingual access will form a key element in the design of this site, which will also use multimedia to its full advantage.

While an initial site is already operational, this will be expanded further during the coming weeks. By its very nature the site's development will be an on-going process. The aim is to provide a mix of information relevant to the issues of IPR access, protection, and exploitation on the one hand, and a wide range of links to associated sites and patent databases on the other.

Interested research and development engineers participating in current or recently completed Commission-funded RTD projects should contact the Helpdesk offices by e-mail, fax or telephone. Bona-fide applicants will be provided with toll-free access to the telephone helpline, and will be given a unique code number. This will enable the helpline operator to identify the caller, and to retrieve working and historical data relating to the caller's inquiry.

The IPR Helpdesk project will also develop on-line tutorials on subjects relating to IPR issues. These will be published on the Helpdesk's Website as they are completed. Team members will also present lectures at conferences and other meetings relating to the IPR field.

Source: European Commission, DG XIII

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