Every 26 of April we celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day and this year it focuses on intellectual property and youth innovation for a better future. From CirCoAX, we are building a community of creative and innovative solutions to drive positive changes in the fashion and textile industries. We believe that our creators and entrepreneurs can make the most of intellectual property to achieve their goals and face glocal challenges.

Major brands are aware of the importance of protecting their designs, drawings, and other intellectual creations by using existing instruments and registrations. However, many SMEs in the textile sector do not always give due importance to this aspect, even though intellectual property protection not only provides clear competitive advantages, but also protects the intangible assets of the company, which can often be original or innovative expressions that deserve protection.

Companies in the textile and fashion sector innovate in an environment where technology, science and health go hand in hand, allowing them to make new products, new designs and new trends available to consumers. Trademarks and industrial designs are good tools to protect these novelties and innovations.

In the European Union, the Intellectual Property Office is called EUIPO. This office is responsible for managing EU trademarks, as well as registered Community designs. The EUIPO, in turn, collaborates with the IP offices of the EU Member States and international partners to ensure international uniformity in the registration of trademarks and designs.

This 2022, the EUIPO will offer advice and assistance to all participants in EU-funded research and innovation programmes and work with all parties involved. It will work with all stakeholders to improve the valorisation of industrial and intellectual property rights in the R&I community. It will also facilitate the use of IP as a lever for access to finance. To provide continuity to this support, the EUIPO has launched a new support campaign that will apply from 10 January 2022 to 16 December 2022.

New features include the inclusion of patents in the programme; an increase in reimbursement to 90% in the case of IP diagnostics, 75% in the case of design application fees and 50% in the case of national patent fees; an extension of the fees eligible for reimbursement; and the possibility of applying for the vouchers at any time, eliminating the application windows. The maximum grant amount is EUR 2,250 per company!

About COSME   

COSME is the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).  

This programme assists SMEs to develop their business models, to obtain funds and to internationalise. This scheme also supports public administrations to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and to facilitate the economic growth of the EU. During the funding period of 2014-2020, this programme allocated €2.3 billion to support SMEs.

About IED   

Istituto Europeo di Design is an academic institution working in education, training, and the research of fashion, design, visual communication, and management. IED has offices in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan, Rome and five other cities) and Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro). IED works in several EU and COSME countries through collaborations and arrangements with institutions, business support organisations, teachers, experts, and mentors. IED has an extensive network of connections in the fashion and textile sector (F&T).  

About Finnova  

Finnova es una fundación que trabaja para la promoción y el desarrollo de la innovación y el espíritu empresarial a nivel de la UE. Con sede en Bruselas, opera a través de colaboraciones y asociaciones en todos los países de la Unión Europea. La experiencia de Finnova liderando actividades de comunicación y difusión de proyectos europeos se combina con una sólida experiencia probada en la creación de empresas y programas de apoyo empresarial, como aceleradoras, incubadoras y selección y adjudicación de eventos ceremoniales.   

About Texfor  

Texfor is a leading textile association in Spain with roughly 400 members. Founded in 2010 and based in Catalonia, Texfor brings together enterprises from the textile value chain, i.e. from weaving to fabrics as well as accessories, textile finishing, printing, and dyeing for the dressmaking industry, textiles for households and technical and industrial applications. Texfor has an extensive expertise as it has worked in relevant expert committees at an EU level: university and professional training, developing financial capacities, cross-cutting collaboration, fostering RDI, specialised services, and leadership in sustainability focused on the circular economy.  

About Circulab  

Circulab is a laboratory and design studio specialising in developing transformation methods, tools and programmes to help enterprises adopt circular and sustainable business models. Circulab has designed a number of tools to implement a circular business model in enterprises. It works in 23 countries – 9 out of them in the EU – and it supports projects via 60 independent entrepreneurial consultants. It applies circular methodologies and tools.  

About The Circular Project co-designed with HumanNation  

TCP (The Circular Project) favours and promotes a circular and sustainable fashion in different areas, offering the fashion industry a communication strategy based on a cross-cutting and systemic approach of the circular economy. TCP combines social, ethical, environmental and economic aspects, and has a strong presence and connections in the sustainable fashion world.  

TCP has promoted the Circular Sustainable Fashion Week Madrid, a one-of-a-kind event, and also serves as HQ for the Spanish Association for the Sustainability, Innovation and Circularity in the Fashion Industry. TCP is also ambassador of Sannas (Triple Bottom Line Business Association) and has collaborated in a wide array of Spanish, European, and Latin American institutions and enterprises.  

The Circular Project works with Human Nation to co-design and develop CirCoAX. HumanNation is a consultancy enterprise specialising in the development of transformative and disruptive ecosystems of innovation and companies for the ‘new economy’. It is based on the fourth economic sector, the systemic thinking, and co-creation. It raises awareness in organisations and ecosystems to respect the planetary boundaries and the social fabric, creating resilient local economies with a global perspective.