09.10.21

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EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IXX – The EUIPO Connection

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…
  12. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XII – Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms
  13. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIII – Out With the Old, in With the New?
  14. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIV – Business as Usual in Tallinn
  15. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XV – Worse Than “a Backward Kolkhoz”…
  16. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XVI – A Promising Start Followed by an Unfortunate Cock-Up
  17. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XVII – Secret Bank Accounts in Switzerland and Germany
  18. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XVIII – A Baltic Circus in Riga
  19. You are here ☞ The EUIPO Connection

Ieva-Viļuma

António Campinos on an OHIM mission to Riga (Latvia) in September 2013 where he was received by the acting director of the Latvian Patent Office, Ieva Viļuma.

Summary: The Baltic ‘crusade’ of Tony, son of the “Carnation Revolution”, goes more than a decade back

The main theme of the present series so far has been the relationship between the national patent offices of the Baltic States and the European Patent Organisation.

“The main theme of the present series so far has been the relationship between the national patent offices of the Baltic States and the European Patent Organisation.”In this part the focus will shift to the connections between these national offices and the EU trademark agency EUIPO (formerly known as OHIM).

In this regard, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the “patent offices” of the Baltic States are not limited to dealing with patents. They are also responsible for other aspects of “IP” administration such as the registration of trademarks and industrial designs.

“In this regard, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the “patent offices” of the Baltic States are not limited to dealing with patents.”This means that these “patent offices” play an equally significant role in the political horse-trading that goes on in the context of the EU’s trademark agency EUIPO.

Indeed, it is probably fair to say that EUIPO – rather than the EPO – is the more important institution for the Baltic States, at least from the perspective of their local economies.

This is because these states have a relatively low level of patenting activity, especially when compared to the more developed member states of the EPO, such as their Nordic neighbours Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The small size of the domestic markets also means that these countries are of secondary interest to foreign multinationals seeking patent protection in Europe.

“…these “patent offices” play an equally significant role in the political horse-trading that goes on in the context of the EU’s trademark agency EUIPO.”However, despite the fact that their industrial manufacturing economies are not so well developed, the Baltic States have a long tradition as mercantile trading nations going back to the days of the Hanseatic League.

For this reason, other forms of “IP” – in particular trademarks and industrial designs – are of more significance for the primary economic activities of these countries.

Just like his mentor Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos is fully aware of the importance of “capturing” the Baltic votes. This is demonstrated by his presence at the secretive conclave which took place in Tallinn in January 2010 when he was preparing his bid to become Chief Executive of the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO.

“The small size of the domestic markets also means that these countries are of secondary interest to foreign multinationals seeking patent protection in Europe.”Following the success of his efforts to secure the top job in Alicante in 2010, Campinos was a regular visitor on the Baltic “IP” circuit.

For example, he turned up in Riga in September 2013 [PDF] where he was received by the “acting director” of the Latvian Patent Office, Ieva Viļuma.

The following month he attended an EU-sponsored conference on “Intellectual property protection in the EU: risks, challenges and prospects” which took place in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on 8 and 9 October 2013.

“…Campinos turned up in the Estonian capital Tallinn where he met with the newly appointed Director-General of the Estonian Patent Office, Margus Viher.”A year and a half later, Campinos was back in Riga at an international conference “Intellectual Property and Beyond” which took place on 3 and 4 March 2015. This conference was organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Latvian Patent Office, the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and OHIM/EUIPO.

Campinos was billed as a guest speaker to deliver a talk [PDF] on the topic of “European Trade Mark and Design Network (ETMDN) – New Challenges Ahead”.

Some months later, in October 2015, Campinos turned up in the Estonian capital Tallinn where he met with the newly appointed Director-General of the Estonian Patent Office, Margus Viher.

Campinos-Tallinn
Campinos on an OHIM mission to Tallinn (Estonia) in October 2015.

During his tenure as head of the EU trademark agency EUIPO, Campinos carefully cultivated the goodwill of the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian “patent offices”. By doing so he made sure that he could count on the three Baltic votes in 2017 when he was lining himself up for election as Battistelli’s successor at the EPO in Munich.

“During his tenure as head of the EU trademark agency EUIPO, Campinos carefully cultivated the goodwill of the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian “patent offices”.”In the final part of the series we will continue our examination of the interaction between the Baltic States and EUIPO and conclude by attempting to shed some light on the sudden and unexpected departure of Sandris Laganovskis from the Latvian Patent Office towards the end of 2020.

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