Entry into force of various protocols amending the BCIP

  1. Protocol of 21 May 2014 regarding the new powers of the Benelux Court of Justice:
  • Appeal against BOIP decisions has been transferred from the three Courts of Appeal (The Hague, Brussels, Luxembourg) to a single, central body, the Benelux Court of Justice;
  • Expansion of leave to appeal; BOIP is not a party in appeals against opposition and cancellation decisions;
  • New structure and composition of the Benelux Court of Justice; second chamber for appeals, first chamber for cassation; BOIP decisions may be appealed in their entirety; new rules of procedure.
  1. Protocol of 16 December 2014 regarding opposition and introduction of an administrative procedure for trademark cancellation:
  • Amendment of BCIP Implementing Regulations;
  • Change to opposition: addition of a new (relative) ground concerning well-known marks;
  • Implementation of cancellation procedure: in line with the wishes of Benelux users, a less cumbersome procedure, i.e. only with respect to the (absolute and relative) grounds in which BOIP has already built up experience (in particular absence of genuine use).

Implementation of this protocol has led to a cleaner register. It has also enabled BOIP to prepare the ground for implementation of the upcoming TM Package, which renders the administrative cancellation procedure mandatory).

  1. Protocol of 11 December 2017 regarding implementation of EU Directive 2015/2436 (preparing the way for implementation of the TM Package). The main changes are:
  • Definition of a trademark: graphic representation no longer required, new trademark types accommodated, e.g. sound, pattern, hologram, and multimedia trademarks;
  • New absolute and relative grounds: the shape "or another characteristic", geographical indications, plant breeders' rights, unauthorised registration in the name of an agent, bad faith;
  • More rights for users: comparative advertising, goods in transit, dictionaries;
  • Stricter genuine use obligation;
  • The previous collective marks have been split into new-style collective marks and certification marks;
  • Cancellation procedure mandatory in all Member States, broadening of grounds.