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Upcoming changes to Benelux trademark law as from 1 June 2018

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The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) will soon have new competencies.

As from June 1st it will be possible for trademark owners to request BOIP for the cancellation of a trademark registration. BOIP may then rule about the claimed invalidity or revocation of an existing trademark registration. Although court proceedings will remain possible as well, this will provide an efficient alternative: procedurally, the request for cancellation will be quite similar to BOIP’s current opposition proceedings with time limits of 2 months.

Another interesting change to Benelux trademark law is that in proceedings before BOIP from June 1st onwards, well-known trademarks may oppose or invoke the invalidity of a later similar Benelux trademark for non-similar goods and services, if that takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character of the trademark involved. Whereas this was already possible for EU trademarks, this provides more power to well-known brands with regard to actions against later, similar Benelux trademarks.

Appeals against decisions of BOIP must be brought before the Benelux Court of Justice. This Court will have a new second chamber acting as a body competent to judge BOIP’s decisions.

Please find the official news item of BOIP via the following link. For questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact BANNING’s IP lawyer Ranee van der Straaten (r.vanderstraaten@banning.nl).