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OHIM seeks new president of its Boards of Appeal after Maier moves to the IP Observatory


OHIM is on the search for a new president of its Boards of Appeal after revealing that Paul Maier is to leave the post to oversee the Office’s new IP Observatory


Three years ago the European Commission set up a European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy as a platform for coordinating actions to protect IP rights throughout the EU. In March EU member states agreed to rename it the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and hand its management to OHIM, the Alicante-based office that grants Community trade marks and designs.

Maier will become the Observatory’s director in mid-January. He has worked at OHIM from its earliest days, joining as chief adviser to the President of the Office in 1995. He subsequently took responsibility for preparing OHIM for EU enlargement and was made director of the Designs Department in 2002. He was nominated President of the Boards of Appeal by the Council of Ministers in December 2005 and confirmed for a second mandate in May 2010.

His new role will see him leading the Observatory’s mission: to understand better the value of IP; improve understanding on the impact of infringements of IP (by establishing a transparent methodology collecting reliable data); help raise awareness of the impact of IP infringements; develop training programmes for people involved in the enforcement of IP, including in non-EU countries; and disseminate information about best practices.

A spokesman for OHIM told Managing IP that there will be an open recruitment process for Maier’s successor. The Office’s Administrative Council will oversee the selection process and draw up a shortlist of candidates that will be submitted to the Council of Ministers.

He said that even if Maier’s replacement is not in place by min-January, the Boards of Appeal, which each have their own chairperson, will function as normal.

As part of establishing the Observatory, OHIM has revised its management structure. The Observatory will incorporate the OHIM Academy, the Office´s training and knowledge-sharing hub.

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