Issue 019
  May 2012
Contents:
 

Plain packaging

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MARQUES @ IP events

>  
 

New OHIM search tool

>  
 

OAMI Users Group meeting

>  
 

CTM opposition changes

>  
 

TMView & EuroClass

>  
 

Madrid System improvements

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EC developments

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IPR Helpdesk

>  
 

Shanghai seminar

>  
 

Olympics Ambush marketing

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Webinar on social media

>  
 

Upcoming MARQUES events

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Disclaimer:
The views expressed by contributors to this newsletter are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policy and/or opinions of MARQUES and/or its membership.  Information is published only as a guide and not as a comprehensive authority on any of the subjects covered.  While every effort has been made to ensure the information given is accurate and not misleading neither MARQUES nor the contributors can accept any responsibility for any loss or liability perceived to have arisen from the use or application of any such information or for errors and omissions.  Readers are strongly advised to follow up articles of interest with quoted sources and specialist advisors.
 

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Joint Statement on plain packaging
MARQUES and other IP organisations issued a joint statement on April 23 objecting to the adoption of generic or plain packaging.


The full statement is as follows:

OBJECTION TO THE ADOPTION OF RESTRICTIVE LEGISLATION OR POLICY OPTIONS FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO AS “GENERIC” OR “PLAIN PACKAGING”

The signatories of this statement are dedicated to the protection and development of intellectual property rights in general and trade marks in particular. Based upon the expertise and experience of their members – including professional representatives and other practitioners, in-house counsel, IP owners representing all industry lines, IP judges and law professors – they take an active, ongoing interest in legislative projects and regularly submit their comments and proposals, both on the EU and Member State level.

The signatories are all united by the principle of advancing the cause of IP laws to ensure that IP rights - and particularly, though not exclusively, trade marks and trade dress - are well protected against any abuse and misappropriation. At the same time they appreciate that the interests of right holders need to be reconciled with the public interest in a balanced and well-functioning IP system, in order to protect the consumers from deception and confusion. IP rights are a cornerstone of the European economic system and the Internal Market. They provide significant value to their owners and wider wholesale and retail circles. They are likewise essential to safeguard the public faith and the interests of consumers.

Specifically trade marks and trade dress are relied upon by consumers as signposts of genuine goods and services. This is true for both word marks and figurative marks (graphical devices), and for signs resulting from the combination of the two, as well as so called “non-traditional” trade marks such as packaging shapes and colours per se. Trade marks also indicate the source of goods and services to assure consumers on the quality of the products that they purchase or that they would consider purchasing. This fundamental function cannot be fulfilled if trade marks are not noticeable, or unavailable, to consumers when selecting a product. The inability to recognize a brand or trade mark on a product would lead to consumer confusion, and therefore diminish the goodwill acquired in that brand through considerable investment and effort over a significant period of time. In fact the inability to call for or recognize a brand also takes away a consumer’s freedom of choice.

The IP business and professional communities have very strong concerns that any legislation that precluded – whether fully or in part – brand owners from the ability of making legitimate use of their trade marks, would amount to an indirect legislative expropriation of private intellectual property and, as a consequence, lead to the extinction of their property rights. Any such legislation would adversely affect the markets, with harmful impacts on the economy as a whole as would be derived from escalating counterfeiting and piracy throughout the EU and worldwide. Where there is a need to achieve important public objectives, any developing legislation and/or policy options should not deviate from maintaining an appropriate balance with legitimate intellectual property and other proprietary rights.

Consequently, the signatories of this letter object to the adoption of restrictive legislation or policy options, frequently referred to as “generic” or “plain packaging”.

APRAM, BMM, ECTA, GRUR, MARQUES, UNION

MARQUES at IP events
MARQUES has been represented at numerous meetings and conferences in the past month. These include:
Read More >>

OHIM news
New search tool

 


Users Group meeting

OHIM has launched a new tool for preparing Community search reports, called Search9. It is effective since April 10.

The program has been custom made for OHIM and supports the Vienna classification and national search tasks.

  The 19th OAMI Users Group meeting took place in Alicante on April 17. About 20 organisations were represented and discussions covered questions raised by users in relation to Office practice, with particular emphasis on the 10th edition of the Nice Classification, suspension of Opposition proceedings and the publication of refused Community design applications.
Read More >>   Read More >>

Opposition changes

 

TMView and EuroClass

OHIM has also adopted a new practice when notifying an opposition to the applicant when the opposition is based on a CTM.

Under the new practice, which became effective on April 1, OHIM will no longer send the corresponding CTM-online extract attached to the Offices’ letters but will add a link to CTM Online database.

  Finally, in a letter dated March 14 OHIM President António Campinos provided an update on TMview and EuroClass, and in particular the expansion to non-EU countries. He noted that the USPTO had recently joined EuroClass and that other countries are expected to join TMview. “They have the potential to become truly global tools,” he wrote.
Read More >>  
WIPO news
Madrid System improvements
WIPO is introducing new web-based communication services for the Madrid System: Madrid Electronic Alert, Madrid Real-time Status and Madrid Portfolio Manager. All will be available in May.
Read More >>

European Commission developments

 

European IPR Helpdesk

A conference on "Enforcement of intellectual property rights: the review of Directive 2004/48/EC" was held on 26 April in Brussels.

More details are here:
Disclaimer: The following link provides access to the European Commission's official website
http://www.marques.org/elink?ID=0273

  The European IPR Helpdesk has set up a new library page on its website.  The library gathers the IPR Helpdesk’s material as well as other relevant material.  The contents will be regularly updated.

The IPR Helpdesk can be accessed via the link below:
http://www.marques.org/elink?ID=0274

 
Speakers confirmed for Shanghai seminar
Brand Protection in China and Europe in the 21st Century
 – When West meets East to Join Forces in Brand Protection
 will be held at the Swissotel GRAND, 1 Yu Yuan Road, Shanghai 200040 on Friday, June 15 2012.

The MARQUES China Team would like to welcome you to a one-day seminar, which will cover the interesting topics of intermediary liability for trade mark protection, preliminary injunctions in IP litigation, brand protection in the age of social media and EU-related topics for Chinese brand owners.

Read More >>
Ambush marketing and the London 2012 Olympics
The world’s greatest sporting showcase is taking place in London this summer, when the city plays host to the Games of the 30th Olympiad.

The London Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a truly global spectacle, attracting up to 1 million additional visitors into the UK’s capital city – and a global television audience in the billions (the Beijing Games attracted some 4.7 billion viewers – 70% of the world’s population).

Read More >>

Listen to webinar on social media

 

Upcoming MARQUES events

Members of the MARQUES Cyberspace Team presented a webinar on social media issues for brand owners last month. The hour-long presentation covered various social media platforms and the recording can now be viewed on the MARQUES website.   MARQUES is hosting its first Spanish Judges Seminar and a meeting in Shanghai in June. And registration for the Annual Conference in Athens in September is now open.
Read More >>   Read More >>

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