Recent developments in the EU: trade marks

Trade mark reform approaches final stage

In July the Council agreed a general approach to the reform of EU trade mark legislation. The most contentious issue which had delayed Council agreement was the proposal to prevent the transit of counterfeit goods. The provision was proposed on the back of the Philips-Nokia ruling, viewed by lawmakers and rights holders as creating an unfortunate loophole in EU trade mark legislation.

The Council agreed that the proprietor of an EU trade mark is entitled to prevent the transit of counterfeit goods as proposed by the Commission. However, this does not apply if the consignor of the goods can prove that the EU rights holder does not hold any rights in the country of final destination.

Negotiations between Parliament and Council are set to commence this autumn in order to finalise the reform. The two legislators are not too far from each on the main substantive issues and it is expected the main battle will be over fees and whether Parliament gets a say therein.

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