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Revision of the European Trademark System

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The European Commission has plans for a revision of the European Trademark System. The plans include the amendment of the Regulation on the Community trade mark as well as a recast of the Council Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks. The initiative aims at an improvement of the current legal system. The trademark registration system all over Europe shall be modernized and optimized to make it easier, more efficient and predictable for businesses to achieve trademark protection. The proposed reform focuses on more effective trade mark protection against counterfeits, including fake goods in transit through the EU’s territory.

The initiative for the revision of the European Trademark system is based upon the recent study of the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law on the overall function of the European Trademark System. The study came to the conclusion that the European Trademark System provides a solid basis and meets the requirements and expectations of businesses. However, the study notes that it is necessary to coordinate and harmonize trademark law and procedures within the EU. In particular the cooperation between the OHIM and the national trademark offices shall be improved.

In order to foster innovation and growth by making trade mark systems in Europe more accessible and efficient for businesses, the proposed revision would:

  • Streamline and harmonize registration procedures, including at Member State level, taking the Community trade mark system as a benchmark;
  • Modernize the existing provisions and increase legal certainty by amending outdated provisions, removing ambiguities, clarifying trade mark rights in terms of their scope and limitations and incorporating extensive case law of the Court of Justice;
  • Improve the means to fight against counterfeit goods in transit through the EU’s territory; and
  • Facilitate cooperation between the Member States’ offices and the EU trade mark agency – the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) – in order to promote convergence of their practices and the development of common tools.

For a first analysis of the new proposed framework and an outlook for offices, institutions and users GRUR and ECTA invite for a GRUR-ECTA Joint Brussels Workshop on 3 June 2013 in Brussels. BODEN I RECHTSANWÄLTE will take the opportunity to attend at this workshop to be up to date with the recent reform of the European Trademark System to provide the best service for you.