Community Trade Mark courts: Spain and Italy fail to comply
The European Commission has decided to refer Spain and Italy to the Court of Justice for their failure to designate "Community Trade Mark courts", as they are required to do by Council Regulation 40/94/EC on the Community Trade Mark (the "CTMR").
The Community Trade Mark offers the advantage of uniform protection for trade marks in all countries of the European Union, on the basis of a single registration procedure with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, situated in Alicante.
The Regulation (Articles 91 and 143 ?2) requires Member States to designate a limited number of national courts as "Community Trade Mark courts" and to inform the Commission of their names and their territorial jurisdiction. These "Community Trade Mark courts" in the Member States are intended to act as specialist courts to hear cases arising from Community Trade Marks and to ensure that holders of Community Trade Marks enjoy the same level of protection and legal certainty throughout the European Union. This information should have been sent to the Commission within three years of the entry into force of the Regulation, in other words by 17 March 1997. However, the Spanish and Italian authorities have not yet informed the Commission of the provisions adopted in order to comply with this obligation.