The European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) represents over 70 % of the European furniture industry. The EU furniture sector accounts for about 40 % of the world’s total furniture trade and employs 1 million people across 120 000 businesses, generating an annual turnover of about EUR 96 billion.
This collaboration, in the context of supporting European SMEs, highlights the measures necessary for design protection. This is of particular interest to businesses in an industry in which design is key – giving companies a competitive advantage - and the threats of counterfeiting and unfair competition are everyday realities.
The EUIPO is the European agency responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design which are valid in all EU Member States.
For the EUIPO, this agreement will allow direct access to EFIC members (mainly national associations of furniture producers from the EU/EEA), SMEs and start-ups to promote the benefits of IP rights protection through training; fast and efficient problem identification and resolution mechanisms; and targeted, trustworthy advice.
Both organisations are working to foster a positive change in the perception of Intellectual Property (IP) among EU SMEs and provide them with information and tools to protect their ideas and designs.
'We are delighted to welcome EFIC to join the Ideas Powered for Business network. The EFIC represents 70% of the total turnover of the furniture industries in Europe. By having them on our side, we can reach those SMEs in a sector in which IP plays a vital role in the protection of designs and counterfeit prevention'.
'We are pleased to have signed this collaboration agreement with EUIPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office. It is a great chance for EFIC to explore collaboration opportunities in relation to EUIPO’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and measures for design protection. Design is a key aspect of our industry, and the protection of intangible contents remains a priority in order to ensure the competitiveness of the industry'.