Benelux: Trademark Regime to Change in June 2018

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Benelux: Trademark Regime to Change in June 2018

The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP) will be amended by two protocols which will enter into force on June 1, 2018.

Effective June 1, 2018, all appeals from decisions of the BOIP (refusals, oppositions, etc.) have to be brought before the Benelux Court of Justice (BCJ).  This Court established a new chamber consisting of judges from national courts of the Member States of the Benelux.  It is expected that this change will result in a more consistent and harmonious case law.

With regard to opposition proceedings, the BCIP will also allow holders of well-known trademarks to oppose to the registration of younger marks. Currently, opposition can only be based on an identical trademark, a confusingly similar trademark or a well-known mark.

Invalidation or cancellation actions before the BOIP:  Effective June 1, 2018, it will be possible to seek invalidation or cancellation of registered marks with the BOIP in administrative procedures.  It will no longer be required to initiate judicial proceedings.

Source:  DeClercq & Partners, Belgium and Arnold & Siedsma, Netherlands