Issue 114 | September 26, 2003
EU Tightens CTM Rules on
Geographical Indications
 The spirited debate on the patentability of computer-related inventions at the latest plenary session of the European Parliament may have led some practitioners to overlook new proposals on community trademark rules for geographical indications that were approved by the European Parliament on September 23, 2003. The latest proposals include revising Article 7 on "Grounds for Refusal" in the Regulation (EC) No 40/94 on the Community trade mark with a rewritten section "j" and a new section "k" that prevent registration of
(j) trade marks for wines and spirits which consist of or contain a geographical indication identifying wines or spirits with respect to such wines or spirits not having that origin, even where the true origin of the goods is indicated or the geographical indication is used in translation or accompanied by expressions such as 'kind', 'type', 'style', 'imitation' or the like;'

(k) trade marks which consist of a registered name or a protected designation of origin pursuant to Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92, or which comprise such a designation of origin, when the products covered by the trade mark do not have the right to bear the said geographical indication or designation of origin, if the application for registration of the trade mark is made after the date of submission to the Commission of the application for registration of the designation of origin or geographical name'.
As reported in Issue 97 of this newsletter, the U.S. and Europe have been battling over geographical indications under the auspices of the World Trade Organization. If adopted, these new rules are likely to fan the flames of that controversy.

The "European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 40/94 on the Community trade mark (COM(2002) 767 - C5-0009/2003 - 2002/0308(CNS))" is available on the Internet at http://www3.europarl.eu.int/omk/omnsapir.so
. For more information on this topic, please contact the author, Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com) at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.