EU trade mark reforms could include a misleading change

Following two years of discussion, the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and European Commission have all now issued statements indicating agreement to the policies for reform of the trade mark system in the European Union.

The proposed reforms will attempt to create closer cooperation between national offices and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and a streamlined process to registration and contentious matters. They will also introduce additional benefits such as reduced Community trade mark (CTM) official fees and enhanced rights to trade mark owners against counterfeit goods while they are in transit across the EU.

The reforms will also see OHIM renamed as the 'European Intellectual Property Office'. Whilst the potential benefits of streamlined processes, enhanced rights and reduced fees are welcome, we can't help find OHIM's proposed new name rather misleading – being an 'IP office' indicates they administer all IP including patents, but they do not!

UKIPO – contentious proceedings no longer a matter of 'War and Peace'

A recent Tribunal Practice Notice issued by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has brought in a restriction to the number of pages which can be filed in standard evidence rounds of contentious matters.

The UKIPO indicates this move is due to parties filing what they consider to be "irrelevant or unnecessary evidence" and a growing concern over the resources required by the office to review and process it. Going forward the main evidence filed by both parties will be limited to 300 pages, with evidence filed in reply limited to only 150 pages. These page limits do not include any written arguments or submissions which accompany the evidence. There are various ways we can adapt evidence filed to ensure it is within these page limits but sufficient for its purpose, especially when proving reputation.