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24 June 2013

Hurdles ahead for European trademark proposals

Proposed changes to the European trademark framework were recently launched to much fanfare. As trademark practitioners digest the proposals, attention naturally turns to the likely timeframe for change. However, delegates at the ECTA annual conference were told that there are still hurdles to overcome – not least achieving consensus over the “serious disagreement” on “important aspects of the package” from some member states.

06 May 2013

How OHIM intends to challenge negative public perceptions of IP

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has expanded on its plans to measure the economic impact of IP in Europe – research which could play a critical role in reversing negative public opinion on IP.

27 March 2013

Lower filing fees could be on offer this year as European trademark plans unveiled

When today’s live stream of the European Commission’s presentation of proposals to revise the existing EU legislation on trademarks was cancelled at the last minute, it seemed that further delays might be on the cards. However, the Commission has now issued a statement on its “package of initiatives to make trademark registration systems all over the European Union cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable”, with the stated goal of adopting the amended Fees Regulation by the end of 2013.

25 March 2013

GI mathematics – what is their true economic value for Europe and brand owners?

A recent study from the European Commission has attempted to measure the economic value of geographical indications (GIs). The findings suggest that GIs play an important role in the EU economy, with GI-protected products generating worldwide sales worth €54.3 billion in 2010. But can future research – such as OHIM’s upcoming ‘IP Impact’ study – do more to understand the whole picture when it comes to the value that GIs add?

14 March 2013

Plugging the leak: MARQUES reacts to unofficial European trademark proposals

Last month WTR presented analysis of leaked documents detailing proposed changes to the European trademark framework (including amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009), a recasting of the Trademarks Directive and an overhaul of the filing fees regime), as well as initial industry reaction. Today MARQUES issued a lengthy 24-page information note on the documents, providing a user perspective and detailing the good, the bad and the missing aspects of the proposals.

25 February 2013

Industry reacts to European filing fee proposals

WTR previously provided an overview of three documents detailing proposed changes to the European trademark framework, including amendments to the Community Trademark Regulation (207/2009), a recasting of the Trademarks Directive and an overhaul of the filing fees regime. Since writing the blog, it appears that more practitioners have obtained the documents, allowing WTR to obtain some reaction to the disclosed detail.

12 February 2013

Leaked documents give insight into potential overhaul of European trademark environment

Almost two years after the Max Planck Institute published its Study on the Overall Functioning of the European Trademark System, details of proposed changes to the European framework are emerging. According to the latest draft documents obtained by WTR, a re-named OHIM, lower fees and the introduction of European certification marks are all on the cards.

16 October 2012

Report proposes new method to estimate impact of IP rights infringements on sales

The report "Measuring IPR infringements in the internal market", prepared by RAND Europe, has been presented to the inaugural plenary meeting of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. The report does not offer any information on the number of IP rights infringements in the European Union, their scale or their effect – however, it proposes a new method for estimating the impact of IP rights infringements on rights holders’ sales.

04 July 2012

European Parliament rejects ACTA, INTA and BASCAP blame misinformation

The European Parliament has voted to reject the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Despite a last-minute request to delay the vote, Parliament had its say – with 478 votes for the ‘no’ camp. In response, INTA and BASCAP have urged the countries that have negotiated and signed ACTA to continue their efforts to ratify the trade agreement.

04 July 2012

Debate over Customs Regulation serves as warm-up act to key ACTA vote

Counterfeiting is firmly on the European agenda this week. Last night the European Parliament voted to adopt proposed changes to the draft regulation on Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, while later today comes a key vote on ACTA.

01 May 2012

Why trademarks can lead the fight against IP cynicism in Europe

Last Thursday's World Intellectual Property Day was marked with the official launch of Ideas Matter at Microsoft’s Brussels office. This initiative is the brainchild of a range of multinational corporations, SMEs and trade associations in an effort to counter the growing tide of IP scepticism which, although a global phenomenon, is most marked here in Europe. Importantly, trademarks are seen as playing a vital role in these efforts.

08 February 2012

Will Saturday’s day of action send ACTA the same way as SOPA?

A day of action against the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement is scheduled to take place across Europe on Saturday (February 11). Those intending to protest against the international treaty hope that their actions will lead to the agreement being quashed, or at the very least postponed, as happened with the SOPA and PIPA bills recently.

29 November 2011

AG opinion in IP TRANSLATOR: OHIM’s class heading approach is wrong

Advocate General Bot has delivered an opinion in the IP TRANSLATOR case that invalidates OHIM Communication 4/03 regarding class headings. The communication, issued in 2003, supports the ‘class-heading-covers-all’ approach to registration; however the advocate general said today that this approach does not offer sufficient clarity.

19 July 2011

A billion-euro problem: how the EU postal network is the rising threat to brands

Fresh statistics from EU Customs confirm what many brand owners have feared for some time: consumers are buying more and more counterfeits through the mail. EU Customs claims to have seized 48,000 goods from the postal system in 2010, up by a factor of three from 15,000 the year before. Moreover, the authorities claim that seized counterfeits have broken through the billion-euro barrier, leaving brand owners wondering how the problem will be addressed.

18 July 2011

European Commission releases new strategy on IP rights

Considering that the existing mix of European and national rules on IP rights needed to be modernised, the European Commission has set out its blueprint for IP rights to boost creativity and innovation within Europe. The commission released a communication to the European Parliament and other institutions entitled “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights”.