Five things you need to know – Europe

European Union

The EUIPO has launched a platform through the European Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights to deal with all EU IP enforcement matters. The IP Enforcement Portal incorporates the Enforcement Database and the Anti-counterfeiting Rapid Intelligence System onto one platform. Christian Archambeau, executive director of the EUIPO, unveiled the platform in Paris during the 2019 International Forum on IP Enforcement.

Finland

On 1 May 2019 the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) enacted a new Trademarks Act. Aside from moving applications at the PRH entirely online, other changes include enabling the office to handle administrative revocation and invalidation procedures for trademarks and trade names (the PRH’s €400 administrative cost is a significant reduction from the Market Court’s €2,050 fee). Partial revocations of trade names are now possible. A five-year non-use claim has been added to opposition proceedings, requiring opponents to prove use or well-grounded reason for non-use. The new act also allows trademark owners to specify a list of goods and services on marks filed before 1 January 2014.

Portugal

The Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property has revised its fees for a number of procedures. As of 1 July 2019, the cost of registering for a trademark within a single category has been raised from €127.37 to €254.73. Registrations for additional classes have also increased from €32.29 to €64.57 per class.

Ukraine

On 16 July 2019 a new law requiring the use of the Ukrainian language in all product labelling and advertising took effect. Under the new rules, the scope of information in a foreign language on goods and services cannot exceed what is represented in Ukrainian. Foreign language marks are the only exception to the law. This means that brand owners will have to ensure that any product names that they do not wish to translate must be registered as marks. If caught in breach of the new law, brand owners will have 30 days to remedy the issue, otherwise a second breach will result in a fine of around €200.

United Kingdom

A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research has recommended extending the plain-packaging guidelines for cigarettes to confectionary, crisps and high-sugar drinks. Aimed at tackling obesity in the United Kingdom, the 44-page report – “Ending the blame game: The case for a new approach to public health and prevention” – suggests that plain packaging would “level the playing field between confectionary products and fruit and vegetables which do not benefit from the same level of branding and product recognition”.

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