MARQUES is a European association of brand owners worldwide. Council chair Nunzia Varricchio updates us on MARQUES's activities and introduces its 25th annual conference.
MARQUES has evolved from a handful of in-house trademark managers, meeting to discuss whether their needs as trademark owners were being represented adequately in Europe, to an association representing brand owners’ interests worldwide. It is now at the forefront of all institutional and policy-making processes that lead to reform of IP legislation and practice.
MARQUES’s recent achievements include its confirmation until 2014 as a permanent observer at the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market's (OHIM) Administrative Board and Budget Committee, as well as securing representation in the co-operation fund programme. Its submissions to OHIM include responses to the 2011 – 2015 strategic plan and the convergence programme aimed at harmonising trademark practices within EU IP offices.
With respect to activities involving the European Commission, MARQUES has responded to the planned review of the Tobacco Directive by criticising the plan to introduce plain or generic packaging. MARQUES has participated in the RAND Europe survey on counterfeiting and piracy in Europe and has been appointed a member of the Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy. MARQUES has also joined with other IP associations to comment on the debate about the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
MARQUES conference, Nunzia Varricchio