26 September 2014Trademarks

Marques 2014: EU trademark reforms could land before Christmas

A new-look EU trademark system could be ready before Christmas “if everybody gets their act together”, a European politician has claimed.

Cecilia Wikström, a Swedish member of the European Parliament and the rapporteur for the proposed changes, told the Marques conference in Copenhagen that she is ready to begin negotiations with the European Council.

“I would be ready to start negotiations tomorrow,” she said, adding that she has requested a meeting with the relevant council members.

The proposed reforms, revealed by the European Commission last year but some of which have since been amended, include re-naming the Community trademark the European trademark.

There would also be tougher laws on detaining counterfeit goods.

But they are subject to negotiation between the parliament and council, and Wikström said “we have to agree on every comma in the text”.

In addition, a reshuffle in the relevant working party means new additions need time to review the proposals, she said.

Although talks cannot take months, Wikström added, “until the first few meetings I can’t give you a clear timeline on starting negotiations and a final decision on the package”.

The governance of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market needs “considerable debate”, according to Wikström, while discussion is still needed to resolve issues such as the rights conferred by a trademark.

She did say, however, that there is agreement on 80 percent of the package.

Concluding her speech, Wikström said: “These reforms are made only every 15 to 20 years, so it’s important we get them right.

“The package is not a revolution—it’s a drop of oil into the machinery to make it work more smoothly.”

The Marques conference finished today (September 26).

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