TRADEMARKS & DESIGNS
Core Component 6: Specifically addresses trademark and design-related elements across all activities (excluding enforcement).
This additional horizontal component leverages the core competence the European Office of Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM) and channels the expertise from OHIM and Member States. This area of activity focuses on the field of trade marks and designs, excluding enforcement. Activities under this Core Component involve cooperation with both the CTMO and SIPO on the legislative framework of trademarks and designs, the performance and management of the administration and registration procedures relating to trade marks and designs as well as awareness raising. Enforcement issues are covered under Core Component 4 and to a certain extent, Core Component 2.
In both areas the large increase in numbers of filings has put the Chinese granting authorities CTMO and SIPO respectively for trade marks and designs into a challenging situation. Long grant times endanger the functionality of an IP system. In the area of trade marks, this has led to a minimum grant time of three years. From a market access point of view, such periods are highly critical and must be urgently addressed. For designs, invalidation procedures have become a focal point, especially with a view to the large increase of design patent applications and the question put forward by industry as to the real value of the applications. At the same time, design protection is currently the only way to protect the shape of goods in China, as slavish imitation is not yet covered under the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. The Chinese legislating authorities are currently revising the Patent Law, also covering designs, and the Trademark Law. In addition to functionality of grant procedures, there are many other issues to be addressed, such as legislative analysis, including directives, examination guidelines and practice notes; streamlining of trade mark and design examination and registration procedures; and awareness raising on the respective Chinese and European trade mark and design registration procedures. Enforcement-related issues are dealt with under other Core Components.
Activities under this Core Component 6 will therefore combine expertise from the Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market (OHIM), the European granting authority for Community trade marks and design, and from EPO Member States, with experts from other Core Components who will deal with the issues related to enforcement.
For more information on the European Community Trademark and Design system, visit the European Office of Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM). For more information about the Trademarks and Designs Component, please contact Mr Benoit Misonne