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Intellectual Property Protection

Design is a key aspect for the furniture industry and the protection of intangible contents remains a priority to preserve its competitiveness. High quality and design are major assets considering the growing competition the industry has faced over the past decade from third countries. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) infringements are a major detriment to both the industry and the economy at large, as they jeopardise the significant benefits of innovation and creativity. Furniture products and new prototypes are especially vulnerable at trade fairs, in particular when their design has not been registered in advance thereof.


In this context, EFIC and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) signed a collaboration agreement in December 2021. Through EUIPO’s network Ideas Powered for Business, which EFIC is part of, EFIC and EUIPO work closely together to raise awareness about tools to protect design and Intellectual Property (IP) rights.


EFIC´s collaboration with EUIPO offers enhanced industry support to stakeholders in matters related to IP rights. Through this collaboration, EFIC members can benefit from tailored guidance, valuable resources, and training programs specifically designed for the furniture industry. These initiatives will equip the industry with the necessary tools and knowledge to address IP challenges, mitigate counterfeiting risks, and protect the intellectual property of furniture manufacturers and designers.


In the digital age, protecting its IP becomes a necessity. It is a legal way for

businesses to avoid having their unique ideas, products, or services copied

or used without permission. IP protection through the SME Fund can cover

many different assets, including trade marks, designs, patents and plant varieties.


The SME Fund is a grant scheme designed to help EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) protect their IP rights. The SME Fund is a European Commission initiative implemented by the EUIPO and will run from 22 January 2024 to 6 December 2024.


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