November has seen BOIP publish a fully revised version of the Guidelines for Opposition Proceedings. This article tells you more.
Why was it necessary to fully revise the Guidelines?
The first version of the Guidelines for Opposition was produced shortly after introduction of the opposition proceedings themselves (in 2004). At the time, BOIP only had limited experience with the new proceedings. Moreover, there were all kinds of transition provisions in place that impacted on the proceedings, which were therefore important to explain in the Guidelines. Partly because of this, the Guidelines were very procedural in nature and all sorts of exceptions had to be described in great detail.
Changes made in the interim
In the past few years, the Guidelines have been modified a number of times as a result of amendments in the law and regulations. Over the years those changes also included useful feedback from IP professionals. The existing format and structure were thereby still maintained.
Consequences of the introduction of the Trade Mark Package
The latest changes made to the system were made as a consequence of the so-called ‘Trade Mark Package’ being introduced. These changes were so significant it was clear the time had come for the Guidelines to be completely revised. Added to this was the fact that, with the almost 2,500 decisions it has rendered, BOIP has gained so much experience with the proceedings in the meantime that, in the desire and need to explain them, a number of priorities were postponed.
Emphasis on procedural aspects
BOIP therefore decided to undertake complete revision of the Guidelines. Our legal specialists from the Legal & International Affairs department have worked tremendously hard on this task. Just like in the previous version of the Guidelines, the emphasis on the procedural aspects remains because there is a plethora of other sources available for substantive law, such as handbooks, case law, legal databases, et cetera. Nevertheless, the sections relating to legal grounds and substantive aspects (Part IV of the Guidelines) have also undergone a major transformation and are once again fully up-to-date. Going forward, the Guidelines will now be reviewed at least once a year and amended where necessary. We welcome your feedback in this process!
Guidelines in 3 working languages
The Guidelines are available in BOIP’s 3 working languages: Dutch, French and English. Native speakers were involved in the redaction of all three language versions.
If you have any questions or remarks about the Guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us
BOIP guidelines are intended to serve as explanatory notes and for reference purposes for those handling cases with BOIP, but in particular for those who use BOIP proceedings: trademark owners, representatives, lawyers, et cetera. Questions or remarks about these Guidelines are welcome! Contact us via email@example.com.