As of 1st June 2018, the current system governing the Benelux trademark will undergo two noticeable changes.
1) Concerning the appeals from decisions of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP).
Currently, the appeals from decisions of the BOIP are taken before the Courts of Appeal of Brussels, The Hague or Luxembourg. As the appeals are brought before different Courts, this unavoidably leads to a lack of conformity in the jurisprudence.
This will however change in the near future. From 1st June 2018, all the appeals from decisions of the BOIP will have to be brought before the Benelux Court of Justice, which will ensure more harmony and unity in the case-law. The Benelux Court of justice will still have the possibility to refer cases to the Court of Justice of the European Union for questions on the interpretation of EU law.
2) A new procedure of revocation and invalidation before the BOIP.
Currently, the only way to invoke the revocation or the invalidation of a trade mark is to start a proceeding before the Courts.
Soon the BOIP will also offer the possibility to request the revocation or the invalidation of a trade mark through an administrative procedure. This new procedure will be quite similar to the one applicable before the EUIPO concerning the EU trademarks. The new procedure is likely to be quicker and entail less costs.
Contact us for more information on the subject.
Source : P. Péters, V. Wellens, “Important changes to Benelux Trade Mark Law as per June 1, 2018”, www.lexgo.be, 25/04/2018, available at https://www.lexgo.be/en/papers/ip-it-telecom/intellectual-property-law/important-changes-to-benelux-trade-mark-law-as-per-june-1-2018,119221.html