Sunday 16 March 2014

European Union Trade Mark Reform (where CTM becomes EUTM and OHIM becomes the Agency)

Cecilia Wikström
There was not much broken in the Community Trademark System (other than the usability of its website) and it is now so so long (2011) since the Max Planck Institute produced its study that most practitioners have rather lost the highly convoluted thread of its progress. In a press release from the European Parliament  we were informed the issue would be debated on 24 February 2014. The next day we were informed by the Swedish priest who is also an MEP that they had completed their report. It now goes to the Council and then we get to use it. Meanwhile do ask your local candidate for the European Elections on 22 May  for their opinion.

Anyways the current state of play is shown by these documents on the Directive  and the Amended Regulation  . If you want to see the full text before the Parliamentary changes it is simplest to consider the 20 February 2014 compromise position documents  which are conveniently made available by the UK IPO here

Its now plotted as a European UNION Trade Mark and OHIM is to be a European Union Intellectual Property Agency (patents are not that important and anyways maybe OHIM can take over the Unified Patent functions of the EPO).

The proposal as it currently stands suggests (Amendment 29)  that you cannot enforce your registration against  use that "is made for the purposes of parody, artistic expression, criticism or comment".  Our Community European Union Trade Mark Judges may have a sense of humour failure over that one once we have been to the European Court and back. 

The OHIM representative speaking at the McCarthy Institute event at the British Library on Thursday March 13 seemed pretty happy with where they were going so one imagines they have control over the editorial process. 

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