A faster, cheaper and overall more effective method of registering a trade mark in the EU may be available by 2014. A proposal was released by the European Commission on the 27th March 2013 which contained details on how the reform would improve conditions for businesses, particularly small to medium sized businesses.
The proposed reform aims to change the structure of trademark regsitration to enable businesses to obtain a trade mark in a single class, specific to their needs. This would replace the existing procedure of businesses having to obtain a trademark in a minimum of 3 classes. The ability of businesses being able to obtain a trade mark in a single class will allow for both a reduction in cost and time.
The proposed reform also seeks to make a number of further improvements to the current system, these include:
- Improvement to registration procedures by streamlining and harmonising them at Member State level, taking the Community Trade mark system as a benchmark.
- Removal of outdated provisions and ambiguities and the incorporation of extensive case law of the Court of Justice to clarify the scope and limitation of trade mark to increase legal certainty.
- More protection and an improved means of obtaining justice in cases of counterfeit goods and
- The promotion of a platform to enable improved co-operation between National offices with the EU Trade mark agency
These proposed changes are due to come into force by the end of 2013 and are sure to be welcomed by small to medium sized businesses as they will lower the cost of cross border trade.
By Samuel Martin, a current GDL/CPE student at Bournemouth University on Work Experience at Lawdit Solicitors, Southampton.