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The IPR-Helpdesk[notes 1] is a project funded by the European Commission (EC) and a source and guide to patent information.[1] The project was launched in 1998 (at the same time as Espacenet)[2][3] to be a central reference point for intellectual property inquiries and advice throughout the European Union.[4][5] The IPR-Helpdesk is a project implemented by "a European network consisting of several research institutes, law firms and consultancies."[6] It notably offers a free-of-charge enquiry service,[7] or "Helpline service", for addressing intellectual property issues, that is "targeted at researchers and European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in EU-funded collaborative research projects."[8]

According to a 2005 OECD report, the IPR-Helpdesk "offers an example of what governments can do to help compensate for a lack of technology transfer competence among [public research organisations (PROs)]" and "has, since 1998, played a key role in building a culture of innovation in EU countries".[9] The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe later reported, in 2011, that the IPR Helpdesk "not only benefits EU RTD participants, but also the wider research and SME communities".[10]

The University of Alicante (Spain) was responsible for the FP5, FP7 and CIP IPR-Helpdesk editions from January 2001 to February 2011.[citation needed] From March 2011, a consortium formed by infeurope S.A. (a Luxembourg-based company), the Intellectual Property Institute of Luxembourg (a Luxembourg-based IP institute) and Eurice GmbH (a company based in Saarbrücken, Germany) is in charge of the project as a result of a European Commission’s tender.[11][12]


  1. ^ Also spelled "IPR Helpdesk" and also known as "European IPR Helpdesk" and "Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk". See for example Webber, Sheila (April – May 2000). "European Developments in Intellectual Property". Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science. American Society for Information Science. 26 (4). Retrieved 5 September 2014. The European Commission has set up an Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk on the Internet.


  1. ^ Paul Pechan, Gert E. de Vries, Genes on the Menu: Facts for Knowledge-based Decisions, Springer, 2005, ISBN 3-540-20178-5, page 82.
  2. ^ "Edith Cresson inaugurates IPR Helpdesk - new EU service to boost innovation". European Commission. 27 October 1998. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  3. ^ Kroger, Hans Christian; ,Tigrid, P.; Brooks, C.; Church, C. (01.12.2000). Annuaire Europeen 1998 / European Yearbook 1998 (in French). 47. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 122. ISBN 9041115382. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Shahid Alikhan, R. A. Mashelkar, Intellectual Property and Competitive Strategies in the 21st Century, Kluwer Law International, 2004, ISBN 90-411-2119-6, page 204.
  5. ^ "¿Qué es el IPR-HELPDESK?" [What is IPR-HELPDESK?] (in Spanish). Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE). Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ Hoeren, Thomas. "Research Projects". Universität Münster. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  7. ^ "New consortium behind IPR Helpdesk" (PDF). European RTD Insight, British Council online bulletin. UK Research Office, British Council. April 2011. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  8. ^ "services". European IPR Helpdesk. European Commission. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  9. ^ Zhang, Gang (9 February 2005). "PROMOTING IPR POLICY AND ENFORCEMENT IN CHINA STI WORKING PAPER 2005/1 Summary of OECD-China Dialogues on Intellectual Property Rights Policy and Enforcement (JT00178246)" (PDF). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. pp. 34, 36. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Intellectual Property Commercialization: Policy Options and Practical Instruments" (PDF). New York and Geneva: United Nations, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 2011. p. 48. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  11. ^ First attempt call for tenders (aborted)
  12. ^ Second call for tenders

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