From genuine use to procedural questions: a year on the European trademark scene

By Axel Nordemann

A number of significant decisions were handed down in Europe last year, with the courts grappling questions surrounding absolute and relative grounds for refusal, proper procedure and infringing and genuine use

There were significant changes to EU trademark law in 2016, with the renaming of the Community trademark to the EU trademark, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the EU Community Trademark Regulation to the EU Trademark Regulation. Further substantial changes included fee reductions, the removal of the requirement of graphical representation, an express requirement for clarity and precision when specifying goods and services, as well as the literal meaning approach for sufficiently clear Nice class headings, and the widening of the definition of ‘infringement’ to include goods in transit through the European Union.

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