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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.

21 July 2015

New study outlines the billions lost by industry and governments to illicit trade

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP rights infringement, revealing that the clothing, footwear and accessories sector loses approximately €26.3 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit products in the EU market. It is the related finding that government revenues are being hit to the tune of €8.1 billion annually that will resonate with law and policy makers.

18 June 2015

Study evidences the competitive edge of IP-owning companies

A new study, carried out by OHIM (acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights), has found that companies owning IP rights have, in general, 29% higher revenue per employee, approximately six times as many employees and pay wages that are up to 20% higher than those which do not own IP rights.

12 June 2015

EU trademark reform ‘not as ambitious as I wanted’, says reform rapporteur

When we last reported on the European trademark reform, ‘provisional agreement’ on the package had been reached by the ‘trilogue’ of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. This week, the rapporteur of the reform package, Cecilia Wikström, has revealed what went on behind closed doors and acknowledged that the reforms, expected to be formally passed later this year, are not as ambitious as she had hoped.

22 April 2015

EU trademark reform agreement receives tentative thumbs up from users

Following European ‘trilogue’ discussions yesterday, the European Parliament, Council and Commission have announced a provisional agreement on the European trademark package, meaning that the reforms are a significant step closer to being realised. While many aspects have been welcomed by user associations, the lack of detail on crucial aspects means that the ‘thumbs up’ remains a tentative one.

10 March 2015

MARQUES hits out at threat to OHIM autonomy

MARQUES has slammed proposals to introduce three permanent new expenses in the OHIM budget, arguing that the move, being discussed as part of the European trademark reforms, represents “a distortion of the very nature of the fees paid by the users and risks reducing the well functioning of OHIM to the detriment of users”.

19 November 2014

OHIM celebrates 20th birthday by looking ahead to the future

The ribbon was cut on the 9,000-square-metre expansion of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market’s headquarters in Alicante this week, the office entering its third decade of existence with further pledges of “greater efficiency” and “better quality”.

29 September 2014

One step forward, two steps back for EU trademark reform

Cecilia Wikström, member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the EU trademark reform package, has pulled back the curtain on the frustrating world of European politics. While she speculates that the reforms could become a reality before Christmas, given the work ahead this looks ambitious and may be undesirable if it means that too many compromises are required.

01 July 2014

‘Follow the money’ all the rage as IP rights protection rises up the political agenda

The European Commission today published plans to focus the EU's IP rights enforcement policy on commercial scale infringements – taking a 'follow the money' approach aimed at depriving infringers of revenue flows.