In view of the unquestionable economic value of trademarks and their positive effect on the functioning of the internal market, the current supranational legislative framework for their protection is manifestly inadequate. Nevertheless, the current proposal is an improvement on the current situation. The EESC therefore:
- advocates strengthening the intellectual property rights inherent in the legitimate use of trademarks, supports, as far as possible, the EU registration of trademarks, and urges the Commission to support the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) in discharging its oversight functions in relation to these rights;
- calls for preventative and compensation measures to tackle piracy, which undermines the competitiveness of European businesses.
The entire process should complete the alignment of trade mark laws within the next few years, culminating in the adoption of an EU trade mark rulebook, which should establish, inter alia, the creation of a flexible, uniform and cost-effective procedure giving interested parties the option to register trade marks on a voluntary basis and putting an end to current differences in the law.
Other relevant EESC opinions:
- Opinion on Approximation of trade mark laws (CESE 417/2007, INT/345)
- Opinion on Community trade mark (CESE 576/2003, INT/172)
For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat.