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28 September 2017

Unpublished EU study casts doubt on displacement of sales by online infringement, but the reality is nuanced

The EU Commission has come under fire for failing to to publish a €360,000 study of the economic costs of piracy – the report was only released after a member of the European Parliament obtained a copy following a freedom of information request. The report suggests that piracy has little negative effect on sales of copyrighted material, although the findings are slightly more nuanced than that headline conclusion. While it does not directly address the consequences of trademark infringement, it will stir up debate about the economic costs of counterfeiting.

07 September 2017

EU Commission outlines vision for treatment of trademarks and GIs post-Brexit

The EU Commission has released its position paper on the treatment of IP rights after the United Kingdom completes its exit from the European Union. While a short document, it provides an important insight into the trademarks regime that EU negotiators want to work towards. However, some aspects could prove divisive.

01 May 2017

The consequences of Brexit for trademark protection

In March, the UK government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, officially commencing negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Trademark owners now face a number of scenarios

03 October 2016

EU customs seizures skyrocketed in 2015; concerns raised that counterfeit issue being ‘massively underestimated’

The European Commission’s latest annual report into EU customs enforcement has found that the level of suspected counterfeit articles detained by authorities rose by 15% year-on-year, with the number of applications for action up by a startling 59% across the same time period. While the estimated value of the detailed articles totals nearly €650 million, one expert claims the report could be massively underestimating the scope of the problem.

01 July 2016

Trademarks in a post-Brexit world: an infographic

It is now a week since the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union, with the past seven days characterised by market uncertainty and political upheaval. To cut through the confusion, we have put together an infographic that illustrates the potential impact the decision could have for trademark practitioners in the UK and across the world.

17 June 2016

Philip Morris loses ECJ plain packaging challenge

In Philip Morris Brands SARL v Secretary of State for Health the European Court of Justice considered a request from the High Court of England and Wales for a preliminary ruling on various questions relating to the validity of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

13 June 2016

Status quo or uncertainty? The trademark implications of a Brexit vote

The latest polls indicate that a British exit – or Brexit – could be the result of the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership. The impact of such a vote on the trademark community has not featured in the political debate. Yet if next week’s vote comes down in favour of Brexit, there will be significant implications for trademark owners and law firms.

13 June 2016

How to spend the EUIPO’s surplus

The unusual case of European Dynamics Luxembourg v the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) was decided in April 2016. The EUIPO had been targeted by a serial user of the European court system, Greek IT company Evropaïki Dynamiki, along with its subsidiaries. When unsuccessful in tenders, Evropaïki Dynamiki often challenged the results before the European courts.

18 May 2016

Reasonable compensation for published EU trademark

Advocate General Wathelet has rendered his opinion in Irina Nikolajeva v OÜ Multi Protect in response to a request for a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice in regards to the interpretation of Articles 9(3) and 102(1) of the Community Trademark Regulation.

13 May 2016

JUMPMAN prevails in a different type of court

Nike has won the latest round of a long-running dispute over its ability to register the sign JUMPMAN. The decision calls into question the value and wisdom of EU trademark protection for smaller businesses trading in only one member state.

05 May 2016

Tobacco companies focus on plain packaging fight after ECJ backs EU tobacco directive

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the new EU directive on tobacco products is valid, meaning that the extensive standardisation of packaging, the future EU-wide prohibition on menthol cigarettes and upcoming special rules for electronic cigarettes are lawful. However, tobacco industry commentators have hit back, arguing that the ruling does not necessarily give the green light to plain packaging.

19 April 2016

Cyrillic domain names coming to '.eu'

EURid, the registry for '.eu' domain names, has announced that in June 2016 it will launch domain name registrations under '.ею', the Cyrillic version of '.eu'. This will enable registrants to apply for internationalised domain names in Cyrillic script taking the form of 'пример.ею'.

14 April 2016

EUIPO Board of Appeal should carry out own independent assessment, holds General Court

In 2003 publishing company Karl-May-Verlag GmbH registered the WINNETOU mark as an EU trademark. In a recent decision, the General Court held that the EU IP Office Board of Appeal should not have treated decisions on the registrability of the WINNETOU mark from the German national courts as binding in an EU trademark invalidity action, but rather should have made its own independent assessment of the mark.

07 April 2016

The good, the bad and the stubborn: study highlights challenge posed by attitudes towards fake goods

The EUIPO has released new research into attitudes to piracy and counterfeiting among young consumers. The research, which comes in at 248 pages, contains a wealth of information – but not all of it is easy reading for those tasked with winning over hearts and minds in the fight against counterfeit goods.

23 March 2016

Farewell OHIM, hello EUIPO: the European Intellectual Property Office opens for business

Yesterday OHIM closed its doors, to allow time for staff to install the necessary system upgrades to adapt the website and its online application tools in light of the requirements of EU Regulation 2015/2424. Today the office re-opened for business, albeit with a new identity.