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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.

15 January 2016

OHIM faces up to digital challenge of rebrand as third parties register EUIPO domains

As with any organisational rebrand, OHIM faces a host of challenges as it prepares to change its name. One is the registration of (and subsequent transition to) new domains. Research conducted by World Trademark Review has revealed that a number of third parties have already purchased ‘EUIPO’ related domains - though some plan on using them to promote awareness about the EU trademark reforms.

14 January 2016

Practical implications of EU trademark reforms

The new EU trademark reforms enacted in December have introduced some important practical changes on matters such as fee levels, payment dates, representations of trademarks and amendments to existing registrations for class headings.

12 January 2016

New study reveals the scale of brand support for infringing websites

A new report from the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has found that over 1,600 brands placed online advertisements on sites suspected of copyright infringement during its six-week study. The result is that companies could be helping to fund the very sites that their counsel are battling against.

08 January 2016

The European trademark package: what’s changing; when and how to prepare

For many in the trademark world, a late edition to the holiday season reading list was delivered in late December with publication of the new trademark regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amending regulation will enter into force on March 23 2016. Time, then, for a round-up of some of the notable upcoming changes and what counsel should be doing now.

15 December 2015

Breaking: European Parliament approves European trademark reform package

The European Parliament has today approved the European trademark reform package, meaning that both amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009) and the new trademark directive will progress to publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. With the legislative process effectively over, the reforms should be completed by mid-2016.

11 December 2015

MEP confirms intention for EU to “follow Australian idea” on plain packaging (updated)

Just over a year since the European Parliament and Council signed the second EU Tobacco Product Directive (2014/40/EC), which avoided plain packaging in favour of increased health warning label sizes, an Italian MEP has revealed that the “European institution” is looking to “follow the Australian idea” of tobacco plain packaging.

04 November 2015

EU customs report shows two-fold increase in detained goods being released due to brand owner inaction

New data from the European Commission has found that the number of goods seized by customs authorities across the EU that were subsequently released due to brand owner inaction doubled in 2014, highlighting the urgent need for rights holders to respond to customs notifications in a timely manner.

02 November 2015

European Commission publishes report on customs enforcement of IP rights in 2014

The European Commission has published a report on customs enforcement of IP rights in 2014. Among other things, the report reveals that the total number of customs detentions rose to 95,194 in 2014, an increase of 10% compared to 2013; however, the value of the seized goods amounted to €617,046,337, which represented a 19.6% drop compared to the previous year. These are the first statistics to be released following the entry into force of Regulation 608/2013.

08 October 2015

Extending EU-wide GI protection applauded, but greater policing power urged (updated)

This week the EU Parliament voted to extend EU-wide protection of GIs to a wider array of regionally manufactured goods. While the lead MEP tells World Trademark Review that she is hopeful the changes will come into effect next year, one IP lawyer argues that there needs to be an urgent push to end the “patchwork quilt” of national versus pan-national GI rights in Europe.