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Take Advantage Of EU Community Trade Marks Now

Take Advantage Of EU Community Trade Marks Now.

New Zealand companies that have, or are about to get, Community Trademarks (CTM) for the European Union, will be in the fortunate position of getting greater geographical coverage for their trade marks at no extra cost for a limited period of time, according to trade mark specialists A J Park.

Corinne Blumsky, Partner at A J Park, says that the European Union is about to get bigger due to Irish support for the Treaty of Nice, which sets the rules for expanding the Union.

“New member states to the EU must accept the existing community rights established prior to the effective date of enlargement. Accordingly the EU and the ten new member states have agreed that all Community Trade Marks registered or applied for before the date of accession will automatically cover the territory of the new member states. No additional fees or administrative processes will be required, provided that the filing date of the Community Trade Mark is prior to the effective date of enlargement”, she says.

The European Union currently comprises fifteen states and under the Treaty it will include ten more, which are Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Other countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey may join the EU at a later stage.

Blumsky says it is believed that the enlargement of the EU will take place in 2004.

“These rules are very favourable to the holders of Community Trade Marks so it is highly advisable to proceed with the filing of CTM applications as soon as possible,” she says.

“After the effective date of enlargement, new fees will be implemented and, due to the number of languages that will become EU official languages it is expected that new fees will be substantially higher than existing ones”, she concluded.

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