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New Fast Track Examination for CTMs

ohimlogo_enOn 24th November 2014, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) introduced a “Fast Track” application process for European Union (CTM) trade marks. This allows for certain trade mark applications to be processed, examined and – if accepted – published much faster than under the current examination turnaround times. The typical “fast-track” publication is expected to take only 3-4 weeks from the filing date of the application, if no objections are raised. (more…)

London Tech Week 2014 – Top trade mark issues

LTW14-Logo-slideFurther to our post on patent related issues that were raised in our London Tech Week IP seminars and workshops, here is the trade marks instalment based on the common themes that surfaced in our discussions involving trade marks. (more…)

Bad Faith & trade marks: Frost Products Ltd v F C Frost Ltd

frostOn Friday 26th July 2013 Mr Justice Vos, sitting in the PCC, delivered a detailed judgment which is a stark reminder to traders not to “turn a blind eye” to competitors.  In a complex case, in which the papers filled 17 lever arch files, the judge complimented counsel for managing to remain within the 2 day allocated time frame for this PCC matter.  Although there was plenty of legal argument, the case ultimately turned on facts. Who was doing what, when, who knew what, when, and what they ought to have done about it. (more…)

Croatia join European Union

EU flagCroatia joined the European Union today, 1 July 2013, to become the 28th member state of the union.

Croatia’s accession to the EU has an impact on Community Trade Marks (CTMs), Registered Community Designs and potentially the unitary patent system.  (more…)

Proposed Legislation- Modernisation of the European Trade Mark System

EU flagProposals for reformed legislation, which have been drafted in order to help modernise and further synchronise the European Trade Mark system, have surfaced on the web. The European Commission has indicated that the reform package will ‘foster innovation and economic growth’ throughout the EU as well as ‘ensure coexistence and complementarity’ throughout the trade mark systems. Further, the European Commission has stated that the reform ‘will be beneficial for applicants and owners of both the Community Trade Marks (‘CTMs’) and national trade marks’ by increasing the efficiency of the EU internal market. Further, regardless of the size, market and geographical influence of an entity, the proposals will aim to create a more level playing field.

Once the proposals have been adopted (potentially Spring 2014) the Commission advise that EU countries will have to implement the new rules of the Directive into national law within two years. With regard to the Regulation, most amendments will become effective when it is enforced. However, the Fees Regulation will require prior authorisation by the Committee on OHIM fees with the aim of adopting it before the end of 2013. Below is an overview of some of the proposals. Please note that these proposals are not official.


Are the days of a section 11(1) TMA defence numbered? (TMA – Trade Marks Act 1994)

Court (Small)“A registered trade mark is not infringed by use of another registered trade mark for goods or services for which the latter is registered (…)”(s.11(1)).  This section of the UK Trade Marks Act 1994 (also referred to as “registered mark defence”) has generally been the basis for advising clients to obtain a UK trade mark registration in addition to a Community Trade Mark (‘CTM’) registration.

UK trade mark proprietors have been able to rely on the registered mark defence mentioned above as a prima facie defence to trade mark infringement proceedings. Prior to the EU decision below, the validity of a UK registered mark would have to be challenged first before infringement proceedings commenced. It would appear from the EUCJ ruling below that there may be a movement away from this defence.