Tag Archives: trademarks

tag4

2016: New year, new trademark system

We are set to witness a substantial trademark legislation reform in 2016. The EU Commission, the Council and the European Parliament are at a very advanced stage with their preparatory work in this area. If adopted, it will be the most significant trademark reform since the complete harmonization of national trademark systems and the introduction of a community trademark in the 90s.

The draft reform includes a new Trademark Directive to be implemented by Member States in the medium term, as well as a new Community Trademark Regulation, which would become applicable in the short term once adopted.

Among the most relevant modifications envisaged by the new regulatory package, we highlight the following:

  • Symbolically, the Community Trademark will be redubbed “European Union Trademark”. The OHIM will be redubbed European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
  • The legal requirement for trademarks to be graphically represented will disappear, opening the gates for new forms of non-traditional trademarks.
  • The harmonization of national trademark systems will be consolidated. Member States will need to incorporate administrative proceedings for trademark cancellation in their respective national Offices. In Spain, the competence for trademark cancellation is currently attributed to Courts and Tribunals. Thus, the reform will reduce the cost of litigation to cancel trademarks.
  • The fees relating to Community Trademarks will be modified. Currently, a basic fee includes up to 3 classes of products and services. This system is inefficient in most cases, where applicants are only interested in registering trademarks for one or two classes of products and services. With the reform, we expect that each class of product or service will be paid separately. This is already the case for internal Spanish trademarks.
  • Renewal fees are substantially reduced.
  • The system of product and service designation will be modified as a result of the IP Translator case and the consequent modification of the class heading system.

To sum up, the reform is significant but not groundbreaking. The new regulatory system will seek to adapt and improve certain aspects that have proven inefficient or improvable over many years. We hope the work of the EU institutions will proceed as expected and will keep you informed as soon as the reform is adopted.

Stay tuned!

copyright-389901_1280

How Intellectual Property Impacts Your Business

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the European Patent Office have carried out studies on the contribution of the main intellectual property rights (IPR) to the economy in the European Union. The purpose of these studies is to provide evidence about the value of intellectual property (IP). The impact of the IP has been assessed in two different studies.

The first study, released on September 2013, analyzed the main IPR intensive industries and their contribution to the economic performance and employment in the European Union. The results indicated that about 35 % of jobs in the European Union rely on IPR intensive industries, approximately 26 % of all jobs in the EU are provided directly by these industries and 9 % of all employment in the EU comes directly from them. Furthermore, the study revealed that about 39 % of total economic activity in the EU is generated by IPR intensive industries.

The latest study, released on June 2015, deals with an economic analysis of the main IPR and the firm’s performance in Europe. The new study has found out that European companies owning IPR achieve better economic performance than their competitors not owning IPR. The report shows descriptive statistics which exhibit the differences between companies owning and not owning IPR. The results of the analysis clearly demonstrate that the ownership of, specifically, patents, trademarks and designs, is strongly associated with improved economic performance at the level of the individual company.

Among other interesting patterns, the results show that the revenue per employee for owners of IPR is 28.6 % higher than for firms not owning IPR. This revenue is largest for companies owning designs at 31.4 %, followed by trademark owners and patent owners. This relationship between IPR and revenue per employee is even stronger for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For instance, when taking into consideration all firms subject to the study, the revenue for employee for firms owning IPR is 28 %. However, with respect to SMEs, this positive relationship reaches 32 %. Nevertheless, the statistics show that SMEs do not seem to be aware of how beneficial it is to own IPR since only 9.1 % of SMEs own designs, trademarks or patents.

Besides, IPR owners employ almost 6 times as many employees as companies not owning IPR and the salaries on companies owning IPR are almost 20 % higher than by firms that do not own IPR. The highest salary corresponds to patent owners at 40.6 %, followed by designs at 23.0 % and trademarks at 18.8 %.

In conclusion, these studies clearly present the positive impact of IP in the economy of the European Union. Now, with the results of these studies, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the European Patent Office aim to raise awareness among European citizens about the value of intellectual property.