The Second Board of the EUIPO has partially invalidated a European trade mark belonging to Hasbro, the owner of the 'MONOPOLY' trade mark. The EUIPO considered that the refilling of the trade mark (which had not been used across all goods and services applied for during the 5 year grace period) had been made in bad faith.
An EU trade mark proprietor has a five year grace period to use its mark from the date of registration. If it does not use the mark within this period for all the goods and services claimed, it is possible for a third party to revoke the mark in relation to the goods and services which have not been used under the mark. This causes difficulties for proprietors when enforcing their right in opposition or infringement proceedings. To get around this rule, it is common practice for a trade mark proprietor to re-file its mark at the EU IPO and thus secure a further five year period in relation to the new mark. So, if an earlier trade mark is lost on the basis of non-use, it would still have the later mark to rely on. This has been an effective strategy for many brand owners over the years. Recently, Hasbro, Inc., the owner of the well-loved board game Monopoly, has suffered a defeat before the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Board of Appeal in relation to the MONOPOLY trade mark.