Update to Benelux Trademark Regulation and Practice as of June 1, 2018

 

Two very important and most welcome changes to the Benelux Trademark System will take effect on June 1, 2018:

 

Invalidation and Revocation actions can be brought before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP)

Up until now these actions had to be brought before the local national Court of Brussels, Luxembourg or The Hague at a great cost. While court actions will still be possible, we are now able to file administrative revocation and invalidation proceedings before the Benelux Office, similar to that for EU trademarks. The main objective is to facilitate access to such actions and to maintain an up-to-date Benelux Register reflecting the reality of the Benelux market.

We anticipate that this will lead to both quicker and (far) less expensive proceedings. 

 

New Appeals procedure for BOIP decisions

Prior to June 1, 2018, appeals to all BOIP decisions (mainly oppositions and refusals) needed to be brought before the relevant national Court in The Hague, Brussels, or Luxembourg. 

This was costly, time consuming, and lead to the belief that the different Courts were prejudiced towards one party (towards the BOIP in the case of the Hague and towards the Applicant in case of the Brussels Appeal Court). Harmonization was necessary.

Under the new practice, appeals to BOIP decisions are to be brought before the Second Chamber of the Benelux Court of Justice (BCJ). The new chamber of the BCJ includes judges from the national courts of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. With the introduction of this dedicated Court chamber it is believed that the appeals process will both be faster and more consistent.

GEVERS welcomes these changes as we believe they both will lead to a decrease in costs, faster procedures, and an increase in decision consistency. We look forward to assist you in these new and improved Benelux proceedings so do not hesitate to contact us in case of questions. 

 

By Jennifer M Kepler / Marie Calderbank

Trademarks & Designs Senior Paralegals