On 1 March 2019, the amended Benelux-Convention on Intellectual Property ("BCIP") entered into force to be in line with the European Trade Marks Directive (Directive 2015/2436).

We have listed below the most important changes:

  • The requirement of graphical representation has been removed: as a consequence, it is now possible to register non-conventional trademarks such as sound marks, motion mark or multimedia marks.
  • Absolute grounds for refusal are extended to all signs consisting exclusively of the shape or another characteristic that is defined by the nature of the goods, or is necessary to obtain a technical result or gives substantial value to the goods. This expands the grounds for opposition and cancellation.
  • The position of the rights holder is reinforced in case of comparative advertising, use of a trademark in a company name and counterfeit goods in transit.
  • A regime for registration of certification marks has been introduced.
  • It is now expressly stated in the BCIP that products and services must be described with sufficient clarity and precision.

For more information on the modifications of the BCIP modifications, please contact our ICT/IP/Data Protection department.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.