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In a debate over the proposed European legislative trademark package, users have called for a review of renewal fees, noting that ‘higher fees for services that involve less work’ seems illogical.
Over the past few weeks, World Trademark Review has been examining some of the remaining areas of contention surrounding the proposed European legislative trademark package. To round out our mini-series, the notion of abolishing relative grounds examinations is worth scrutiny as a number of national offices remain fiercely resistant to the notion.
User representatives have welcomed the proposal that all European Union trademark offices offer an administrative cancellation/revocation procedure. However, for those which do not currently offer such a system, there are a number of obstacles to overcome.
MEPs have today approved the revised Directive on Tobacco Products by a large majority, paving the way for increased health warnings on cigarette packaging. While trademark user associations had previously lobbied for health warnings to take up no more than 50% of external packaging, the new directive will require that warnings cover 65% of the front and back of cigarette packaging.
The European Parliament has adopted its report on the review of the Community Trademark Regulation and recast of the Trademarks Directive, green-lighting proposed amendments on goods in transit. The amendments, which were the subject of heated debate in the European Parliament yesterday, have been welcomed by business and user groups.
This month, BusinessEurope, AIM, ECTA, ICC-BASCAP, INTA and Marques issued a joint statement on the proposed European legislative trademark package, addressing a number of areas of concern for users. On further investigation, it is clear that the debate over fee levels and allocation of the OHIM surplus shows no signs of abating.
As trademark counsel know, the value of a strong brand, built up over time and the subject of goodwill, can be a key asset when communicating to users and customers. Reflecting this, users have spoken against proposals to change the name of OHIM with MARQUES warning that scammers may also capitalise on the resulting confusion.
OHIM has today published detailed research revealing how European citizens view intellectual property. An important study, there are some concerning figures for trademark counsel, with 6% of the 26,500 individuals surveyed having bought counterfeit goods after being misled over the nature of the goods.
Europe’s revised Directive on Tobacco Products took a big step towards implementation with today’s European Parliament plenary vote strongly backing the proposals and approving amendments that will impact the brand positioning on cigarette packets.
The European Commission has published the long-awaited study into the economic impact of IP across the EU, carried out by OHIM and the European Patent Office. There was particularly good news for trademarks, and the challenge now will be to spread the positive message to an IP-sceptical public.
The proposed changes to the EU trademark system have taken another step forward with publication of the European Parliament Rapporteur’s recommendations on amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) and the recasting of the Trademarks Directive (2008/95/EC). As well as suggesting a number of key changes, the documents outline potential new areas of responsibility for the ‘European Union Intellectual Property Agency’.
On Wednesday the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee will vote on the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Tobacco Products Directive. Prior to the vote, five IP associations have teamed up to speak out in support of trademarks.
Proposed changes to the European trademark framework were recently launched to much fanfare. As trademark practitioners digest the proposals, attention naturally turns to the likely timeframe for change. However, delegates at the ECTA annual conference were told that there are still hurdles to overcome not least achieving consensus over the “serious disagreement” on “important aspects of the package” from some member states.
When today’s live stream of the European Commission’s presentation of proposals to revise the existing EU legislation on trademarks was cancelled at the last minute, it seemed that further delays might be on the cards. However, the Commission has now issued a statement on its “package of initiatives to make trademark registration systems all over the European Union cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable”, with the stated goal of adopting the amended Fees Regulation by the end of 2013.
Last month WTR presented analysis of leaked documents detailing proposed changes to the European trademark framework (including amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009), a recasting of the Trademarks Directive and an overhaul of the filing fees regime), as well as initial industry reaction. Today MARQUES issued a lengthy 24-page information note on the documents, providing a user perspective and detailing the good, the bad and the missing aspects of the proposals.
WTR previously provided an overview of three documents detailing proposed changes to the European trademark framework, including amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009), a recasting of the Trademarks Directive and an overhaul of the filing fees regime. Since writing the blog, it appears that more practitioners have obtained the documents, allowing WTR to obtain some reaction to the disclosed detail.
In a decision that could speed up the infringement proceedings process, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has ruled that ‘third party’ under Article 9(1) of the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) includes the owner of a later CTM.
Almost two years after the Max Planck Institute published its Study on the Overall Functioning of the European Trademark System, details of proposed changes to the European framework are emerging. According to the latest draft documents obtained by WTR, a re-named OHIM, lower fees and the introduction of European certification marks are all on the cards.
The ECJ has issued its long-awaited decision in the ONEL case. While stating that the use of a CTM in one member state could be sufficient to establish genuine use in the Community, it confirmed that “all facts and circumstances” should be accounted for, ruling out a de minimis rule and suggesting that the bar for showing genuine use within the Community will be a bit higher than that for showing the same in a specific member state.
OHIM has announced an organisational shake-up which brings its Academy under the Observatory’s umbrella, with Paul Maier heading up the new section. The move comes as plans continue apace for the Observatory’s first work programme.
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