20 October 2020. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has become the first EU body certified by AENOR anti-COVID-19 certification This certification is an external guarantee for any organisation that wants to implement the latest and current best practices in safety and hygiene, including the prevention and hygiene guidelines to curb COVID-19.
EUIPO is a decentralised agency of the European Union (EU) based in Alicante, with a workforce of over one thousand employees from all EU member countries. It manages two current intellectual property rights in all EU member countries: The European Union brand and the community design and model. It receives around 250,000 applications per year for their use from more than 200 countries and regions around the world.
During the Spanish State of Alarm and the de-escalation in the Community of Valencia, EUIPO implemented a teleworking system backed by advanced information technology infrastructure, ensuring the continuity of its activities while staff worked outside the headquarters.
Thanks to the implementation of stringent health safety protocols, certified by AENOR, most employees were able to return to headquarters on 7 September. The AENOR audit process included a documentary audit that assessed the suitability of EUIPO protocols and management systems and an on-site visit to verify that everything had been correctly applied. The on-site audit included a review of the entire EUIPO campus, as well as all office areas, catering services, common areas, meeting rooms and technical facilities. Ventilation and cleaning routines, facilities maintenance, information provided to users and self-checking practices were also found to be appropriate.
EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau said that "the Office's most important priority is to protect the health and safety of all our employees and of the external providers who provide us with services. AENOR certification supports all the work we've done to ensure that our return plan and our work environment comply with the most rigorous and comprehensive health protocols."
For his part, Rafael García Meiro, CEO of AENOR, stated that "EUIPO has demonstrated that its commitment to the safety of all of its employees and stakeholders is at the forefront of its considerations, consistent with its position. The company's responsible and now duly certified protocols create the confidence necessary for the organisation to quickly recover its important contribution to society and the economy."
In addition to having established all health safety protocols, the Office has developed a section on the employee website where staff can find information and guidance on prevention and safety against COVID-19 at any time.