Friday 6 July 2012

Important Ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union directly affecting practice (IP TRANSLATOR)

A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the IP Translator case (C-307/10) has held that where an applicant specifies the general heading of goods or services for a given Nice Class (Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks) with intent to cover all the goods or services in that class, it must be expressly so stated. Otherwise, trademark coverage will extend only to the literal content of the class heading. (*)

The ruling was dated 20 June and the OHIM reacted immediately, issuing Communication No. 2/12 of the President of the Office of 20 June 2012, requiring CTM applicants to include a declaration expressly indicating whether or not coverage is meant to extend to all the goods/services in each class claiming the general Nice heading, starting with all applications filed from 21 June.

In keeping with our practice of safeguarding our clients' best interests, our Firm too reacted at once, and since 21 June 2012 we have been filing all CTM applications claiming the general heading of an International Class with the requisite express declaration stating that the class heading is intended to cover all goods/services included in the respective class.

Additionally, from that same date all national applications designating class headings that we file in Spain are also accompanied by an express indication that all goods included in the class are covered unless the order letter instructs otherwise. 

(*) For instance, as in the case at hand, the general heading of Class 41 ("Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities") would not cover "translation services" without an express indication of intent to cover all the services included in that class.

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