EC to refer Romania to the Court of Justice for not transposing the Trade Mark Directive

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The European Commission has today decided to refer Romania to the Court of Justice, with a request for financial sanctions, following the lack of notification of transposition measures of the Trade Mark Directive (Directive (EU) 2015/2436). Romania is the only Member State which has not yet notified transposition measures.

The Trade Mark Directive constitutes an important step in modernising and further harmonising EU trade mark law. It brings a number of significant changes, including a revised trade mark definition adapted to the digital age; new grounds precluding trade mark registration; new rules on counterfeit goods in transit as well as new provisions to harmonise trade mark procedures across EU Member States.

EU Member States were required to transpose the Directive into national legislation by 14 January 2019. A Reasoned opinion was sent to Romania, to which it had the opportunity to reply. An extension of deadline to reply to this Reasoned opinion was granted to Romania. However, despite this, it failed to notify transposition measures. Thus, the Commission has now decided to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

The Trade Mark Directive upgraded and streamlined the Union legal framework on trade marks. It introduced a number of significant changes to substantive EU trade mark law, such as: a new trade mark definition more adapted to the digital age;new grounds of non-registrability; and new rules on counterfeit goods in transit. The Directive also introduced procedural provisions to harmonise trade mark procedures across EU Member States, taking the EU system as a benchmark.

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