For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Life after IP TRANSLATOR, or why António Campinos is a good sport

"Kick boxing? I thought you said Tick-Boxing!"
Spare a thought for the IPKat's friend António Campinos, President of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market. While other Presidents have been travelling to London to watch their sports heroes compete for gold, or merely watching it on their giant-screen tellies while keeping an eye on political events nearer home, some Presidents have a job to do.  Our António -- a salaried President rather than the President-for-Life or popularly elected sort -- has been busily preparing OHIM for the next stage in its existence, life after IP TRANSLATOR (on which see earlier posts here, here and here, among others). In the letter which appears below, he sets out his Summer Manifesto, in the form of a letter to Europe's choicest trade mark practitioners:
IP Translator: New provisional feature for the identification of goods and services when e-filing CTM applications

Dear Users

In my letter of 20 June last regarding the Court ruling C-301/10 on the “IP Translator” case, I indicated that OHIM would be revising its e-filing systems to provide a user-friendly solution when Community trade mark (CTM) applicants use class headings to claim protection for all the goods and services [does Merpel detect sports terminology here? tennis, perhaps?] in the alphabetical list of the Nice Classification. I am now pleased to inform you that during August, OHIM will integrate a new provisional feature in the section on goods and services in the electronic Community trade mark application form. The new feature will allow Community trade mark applicants to tick a box [the President has an interest in boxing?] to indicate that the application intends to extend the coverage beyond the Class Heading  [heading? That's football ...] to the alphabetical list of the Nice Classification. This box tick option will replace the interim efiling requirement of attaching a separate declaration, meaning that the submittal of a declaration [declaration! That's cricket, sadly no longer an Olympic sport] will not be required nor accepted. If you have requested the full Class Heading title in the goods and services section of the e-filing form by ticking the indicated box, a confirmation text will be generated to the Class Heading title specifying the intention of the application to cover the entire alphabetical list of the Nice Classification for the respective class.

Even in the Roaring 1920s, modesty prevailed
We hope that this update will facilitate greater efficiency and transparency [Merpel, a modest feline, hopes that transparency is not the next thing to happen to ladies' beach volleyball uniforms, which have become steadily less apparent since the sport was introduced in the 1920s] for both users and examiners in light of the implications of the Court ruling C-301/10. As expressed on prior occasions, the work being carried out under the Convergence project relating to the Harmonization of Goods and Services and the taxonomy project are fundamental to achieving harmonization on classification practices in the EU. The concrete results of the taxonomy project that are expected by the end of this year will allow CTM applicants to clearly and precisely specify the scope of protection desired. Specifically, the CTM e-filing system will be enhanced and completed with a taxonomy structure functionality ensuring that applicants have the necessary tools and services to apply a clear, precise, practical and consistent approach when identifying goods and services.

Should you have any comments on the new feature proposed on the CTM e-filing form, we would be pleased to hear from you by Monday, 6 August 2012 [That doesn't give much time to get one's thoughts together. A bit of a sprint, really]. We apologise for this short notice but your understanding is appreciated taking into account the summer break [break? But sadly snooker, a sport in which Team GB might be expected to excel, is not an Olympic sport] period.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The interpretation by the Office is dictated by quick shots, not thought to the end. IP Translator is for an English application (not a CTM, where Rule 2(2) CTMIR was always of application) in the context of absolute grounds pending now. Probably it concerns indirectly as well the conditions of obtaining a filing date. It does not touch the question of scope of protection of past and old / earlier trade marks. The judgment applies the principle of speciality: the specifications of the g/s must be clear and precise and, as the Court explicitely stated, not all class headings are clear and precise. By encouraging the use of class headings, even in their literal meaning, the president does not comply with the judgment. By permitting the use of the specifications in the alphabetical list, the President maybe complies with the judgment, but not with the spirit of the CTMR nor with the spirit of the Nice Classification, as the alphabetical list contains many items that are never intended to be used. Rather than assisting the applicants to create wrong exclusive rights, he should encourage to limit the list to those goods and services that the applicant really wants to use.

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