Here are some practical tools that you can use for trademarks, designs and the i-DEPOT. These handy tools may be of assistance to you in your day-to-day IP business. Most of these tools are facilitated by the European Trade Mark and Design Network. BOIP and WIPO also provide some useful IP tools.
Reform of the Benelux trademark law
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TMview is a tool that you can use to search for trademarks. This online viewing tool makes it possible for any internet user to search, free of charge, for trademarks applied for and registered at all participating official trademark offices in various countries in and outside of Europe. TMview provides direct access through a single portal to trademark applications and registrations handled by the participating official trademark offices. The information is provided by the official trademark offices, who own the information and are responsible for daily updates. The website shows which countries are currently making their data available.
TMclass is a tool that you can use to classify trademarks.
It is a joint database of acceptable terms currently used by the harmonised offices and which is maintained by all European offices.
The database currently contains over 60,000 terms, including all terms on the alphabetical Nice lists. An added advantage of the database is that the goods and services are presented in a logical structure. You can search for goods or services that are of interest to you, but also for groups of goods and services.
You can also translate a list of goods and services and check whether the terms appear in the classification databases of the participating offices. The website shows which countries are currently making their data available.
These videos provide more information about TMclass:
Similarity is a search tool that you can use to assess whether, and to what degree, certain goods and services can be regarded as similar or dissimilar according to the participating IP offices. This can be useful when it comes to opposition proceedings.
The tool endeavours to reflect the practice of these IP offices, however, the comparisons in the tool are not legally binding on any entity. Furthermore, there may be differences in practice between offices. The extent to which the comparisons accurately reflect the current practice of a participating IP office is the sole responsibility of that office. The website shows which countries are currently making their data available.
How does the tool work?
There are two options:
- You can compare individual search terms
- You can call up a list of search terms.
Once you have selected the search terms you want to compare, you can also filter the office or offices from which you want to see the results. A table of results is then generated. You can select the pairs that are most relevant to you from this table. BOIP initially published about 3,000 comparisons in the tool. This number is gradually extended.
The tool works best if you define a specific search for a single comparison. This entails specifying the goods and services and the Nice classes for both the earlier and the disputed trademark.
Madrid Goods & Services (MGS) Manager
MGS Manager is an online instrument developed by WIPO to help trademark applicants and their representatives to draw up the lists of goods and services to be submitted when filing registration applications under the Madrid system. The MGS Manager provides access to thousands of standard terms which are accepted by WIPO in applying procedures within the Madrid system and which can be used to describe goods and services in an application for international trademark registration.