For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 24 September 2003

PEACE, HARMONY, TRADE MARKS

This Thursday and Friday (25 and 26 September) sees the Third European Trade Mark Judges Symposium in Alicante. Approximately 75 judges from the 15 Member States of the EU and the accession countries, together with representatives from OHIM, the CFI, the ECJ, the European Commission and the European Patent Office will gather at this biennial event. Its stated purpose is “to favour the necessary harmonisation in the application of the Community Trade Mark Regulation throughout the legal establishment and in particular by the Community trade mark courts.” The judges will be treated to a programme including:

 Registrability of work, 3D and colour marks
 Scope of trade mark proprietors’ rights
 The concept of genuine use
 The position of candidate countries
 Developments in the proceedings of CTM courts
 The effects of trade mark case law on EU industry
 The relationship between OHIM and the CTM courts

The IPKat notes that following a number of high-profile ECJ cases, many of these points are a good deal less uncertain than they must have been two years ago at the previous symposium in Luxembourg. He trusts that getting the judges together will allow them to exchange ideas, potentially leading to greater uniformity in the application and interpretation of trade mark law across the EU. While the symposium is aimed at CTM law, it is also likely to impact on national trade mark law, considering the great similarity between the CTM Regulation and the Harmonisation Directive on which all the Member States’ trade mark laws are based. The IPKat hopes that such harmonisation will be given a push in the right direction by the fact that OHIM has now posted a copy of the national trade mark legislation of each EU Member State on its website. Although the IPKat welcomes this development, he is unhappy that the provision of translations is patchy. For example, the Spanish legislation is only available in Spanish and less popular EU languages are not represented at all.

Inspired by the judges’ example? Bring a bit of harmonisation into your life here, here, here and here


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