What Kind of Use is this? Open Questions after ONEL/OMEL
A slightly different and abridged version was published in: IPRinfo 3/2013
German translation to be published in: sic!: Zeitschrift für Immaterialgüter-, Informations- und Wettbewerbsrecht ; revue du droit de la propriété intellectuelle, de l'information et de la concurrence
9 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2013
Date Written: October 1, 2013
Few cases referred to the CJEU were accompanied by such vigorous and passionate political debates as ONEL/OMEL. Stakeholders as well as the Commission were in an acute state of alarm after the Benelux IP Office (BOIP) decided that genuine use made in the Netherlands was not sufficient for the earlier CTM “ONEL” to be considered as a valid ground for opposition against the Benelux trademark application for “OMEL”. Now, more than six months after the CJEU has handed down its decision, commentators remain remarkably silent. Rather than indicating a common understanding that the answers given are satisfactory, this seems to signal the opposite: so much has been left open for anyone’s guessing that it’s impossible to say what the decision actually means.
Keywords: Community trade marks; genuine use; Leno Merken
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