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IP Cases & Commentary – Details

28 March 2013

EU Trade Mark Reform Proposals Released by European Commission

Richard Burton

The European Commission has released details of the proposedtrade mark reforms. These are intendedto make trade mark registration systems across the EU cheaper, quicker, morereliable and predictable. According tothe press release here, the proposedreforms would "improve conditions for businesses to innovate and to benefitfrom more effective trade mark protection against counterfeits, including fakegoods in transit through the EU's territory".

The press release specifically mentions the proposal to removethe 'three classes for the price of one' structure and implementing a"one-class-per-fee" structure that will apply both for Communitytrade mark applications and for national trade mark applications in MemberStates. In effect CTMs for three classeswould remain at the same fee and those choosing to file applications in onlyone or two classes would pay less.

The Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier wasquoted as saying: "Trade marks were the EU's first success in intellectualproperty rights. There is no need for a major overhaul: the foundations of oursystem remain perfectly valid. What we are aiming for is a well-targeted modernisationto make trade mark protection easier, cheaper, and more effective."

The proposals are to set to recast the 1989 Directive (codifiedas 2008/95/EC) approximating the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks, revise the 1994 Regulation (codified as 207/2009/EC) on the Communitytrade mark and revise the 1995 Commission Regulation (2869/95) on the feespayable to OHIM.

Useful links

Press Release-Trade marks: Commission proposes easier access and more effective protection

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark

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