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February 25, 2014 Vol. 69 No. 4 Back to Bulletin Main Page

European Parliament Votes on New Trademark Rules; Next Step: Negotiations with the Council

The European Parliament (EP) has today adopted its report on the review of the Community Trade Mark Regulation and on the recast of the Trademarks Directive. The proposals were tabled by the European Commission in March 2013.

INTA favors certain developments: the European Parliament's (EP) text reflects a pragmatic approach on issues such as the protection of trademarks on identical goods or services, the rules of goods and services classification and the use of the OHIM surplus. In addition, the report explicitly states that OHIM users will be consulted on cooperation projects.

The EP text could nevertheless be further improved, for instance in the area of limitations to trademark rights and in the need for a transparent, accountable framework for cooperation between OHIM and national trademark offices. More flexibility on setting the level of registration and renewal fees of the Community Trade Mark, and a reduction of the latter, would also be desirable.

One of the most debated issues in this “package” has been on how to tackle counterfeit goods in transit. The EP has made a move in the right direction. INTA, together with other associations, applauded the vote in favor of amendments tabled by Members of European Parliament Marielle Gallo and Bernhard Rapkay which will allow EU customs authorities to stop counterfeit goods in transit without affecting the trade of legitimate goods. View the joint press release

As co-legislator for this file, the Council (representing the interests of Member States) will now need to adopt its own position on the legislative proposals; following this, the two co-legislators will need to work on a compromise text.

For more information about this subject, please contact Christina Sleszynska, INTA Europe Representative in Brussels ( or Carla Schwartz, INTA External Relations Manager for Europe in New York (

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

© 2014 International Trademark Association