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Christian Archambeau fails to win extension as EUIPO chief

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The executive director lost a key vote at a meeting of the EUIPO management and budget committee on Tuesday, November 22

The executive director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, has failed to secure an extension to his term at the Alicante-headquartered office, Managing IP can confirm.

Archambeau failed to secure the necessary backing following a meeting of the office’s management board and budget committee on Tuesday, November 22.

The EUIPO executive director is appointed by the Council of the EU after a nomination from the management board. Archambeau, in office since 2018, required a two-thirds majority vote from the management board for it to propose an extension of his contract.

The management board is made up of representatives of EUIPO member states, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.

Had Archambeau ultimately won the nomination, it would have resulted in his term being extended until 2027.

But he received 11 out of 30 votes at the meeting. An election to choose a successor will be held in June next year.

A spokesperson for the EUIPO confirmed the news to Managing IP today, November 25.

“His mandate as executive director of the EUIPO will end on September 30 2023,” they said.

“According to the rules of procedure, a vacancy notice for the position will be published shortly,” they added.

It is understood that Archambeau has already informed EUIPO staff of the news.

Archambeau has been ED at the EUIPO since 2018, and was previously vice president. He had previously spent eight years at the EPO as a director of infrastructure, administration, and human resources.

It comes after a projected fall in trademark application numbers at the EUIPO this year. This will be only the fourth year-on-year decrease in the office’s history.

The potential financial consequences of the drop-off had been a factor during discussions at meetings of the management board and budget committee this year, Managing IP understands.

But in an article for Managing IP written in October (and published on Monday, November 21), Archambeau was bullish about the office’s future.

“In spite of these drawbacks, the office has shown sustained growth through the years and has proved to be a key contributor to the modernisation of the intellectual property landscape in the EU,” he wrote.

In July, Archambeau also outlined his vision to Managing IP, saying the EUIPO should expand its brief to include domains and supplementary protection certificates.

It is not yet known who will run to replace Archambeau.

The board will meet to nominate a successor in June 2023.

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