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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.

20 June 2014

Users feeling cut out of OHIM surplus discussions

The proposed European trademark package came under scrutiny at the ECTA Annual Conference today, with the OHIM surplus a hot topic of debate. However, frustration was voiced at the barriers faced by users wishing to participate in the discussions.

17 March 2014

Trademark owners revive call for renewal fees drop

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.

05 March 2014

National offices hit out at plans to abandon relative grounds examination

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.

03 March 2014

The barriers to administrative revocation procedures in Europe

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.

26 February 2014

EU tobacco directive takes a big step forward

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.

25 February 2014

Goods in transit amendments adopted in vote on European trademark proposals

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.

19 February 2014

Stand-off over OHIM fees and surplus continues

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.

17 January 2014

Users voice concerns over proposal to rebrand OHIM, warning that fraudsters will benefit

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.

25 November 2013

OHIM’s study reveals frequency of consumers being duped into buying counterfeits

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.

08 October 2013

Parliament backs EU Tobacco Directive, amends packaging requirements

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.

30 September 2013

Trademarks lead the way in EU economic study, now the story needs telling

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.

08 July 2013

European IP organisations step up pressure over plain packaging ahead of vote

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.