Trade Marks Directive
Written by Michael Coyle on 04 January 2003
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This Directive is aimed at the basic aspects of a system of community-wide regulation and enforcement of trademarks. However, wording would suggest it merely approximates a limited number of national provisions and does not fully harmonise national trademark laws. The Trade Mark Directive sets out the criteria for the marks to be validly registered in respect of goods or services. The exclusive rights bestowed on trademark owners allow a trademark owner to prevent another party from using a mark that is identical or confusingly similar to the owner's mark on identical or similar goods. Further, a Member State may permit an owner to prevent the use of an identical or confusingly similar mark on goods and service that are dissimilar to those of the owner if the owner's trademark has a reputation in the Member State. These may be licensed as to some or all of the goods and services for which the trademark is registered and for all or part of the relevant member state. The Trade Mark Directive generally requires that a trademark must be used in the member state in connection with the goods and services within five years after the completion of registration and for any five year continuous period. If the trademark is not used, it may be revoked and a later mark may not be registered or enforced.
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