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New Benelux trademark law effective 1 March 2019

New Benelux trademark law effective 1 March 20193/4/2019 | The amendments to the statutory rules for Benelux trademarks and designs took effect on 1 March 2019. This is due to the implementation of the new European Trade Marks Directive in the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property.

What do these changes mean for you as a trademark owner (or future trademark owner)?
A brief summary of a number of important changes is set out below:

- From now on you will no longer be required to apply for trademarks in a graphic form. This means that 'special' trademarks can also be applied for, such as a sound mark or multimedia marks (including image and sound).
- The rights of trademark owners have been strengthened. It is now easier for trademark owners to take action against third parties using their trademark as a trade name. It will also be easier to take action against the use of a trademark in comparable advertising and against preparatory activities in the event of threatened infringement. Finally, trademark owners will also be able take action against counterfeit goods in transit.
- The exclusion grounds for opposition proceedings and cancellation proceedings have been extended.
- A registration system for certification marks has been introduced. This did not exist in the Benelux. Certification marks (quality marks) were treated as collective marks (association marks) up until 1 March 2019. In effect, this means that if you have a quality mark that you want protected as a certification mark in the Benelux, you can.

We will gladly advise you further on the amendments implemented and what this could mean for you. For more information, please contact your advisor at Hortis Legal.

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