The Benelux Treaty is a regional treaty formulated by the Benelux Countries comprising of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Office representing the Benelux Treaty is based at the Hague in Netherlands and is headed by the Director General who is the official representative of the 3 Benelux Countries in:
· International Matters
· Domestic Matters
Benelux Treaty offers protection and harmonization to Intellectual Property Rights amongst the 3 countries comprising of:
Applications filed under the Benelux Treaty are applicable only to the 3 countries signatory to the treaty.
The Benelux Treaty does not take away the priority provided by the Paris Convention and the TRIPS Agreement regarding trademarks. However, exclusive territorial rights within the Benelux territory have to be acquired by way of filing and registering the trademark applications at the Benelux Office.
Role of the Benelux Office:
Benelux Office is comprised of a Board of Management consisting of representatives from all the 3 countries.
Benelux Office ensures that its International legal Obligations and Domestic Legal Obligations are met in a smooth and efficient manner.
-To implement the treaty and the implementing regulations;
-To promote the protection of trademarks and drawings/designs in the Benelux countries;
-To carry out its related legal tasks in such areas as intellectual property, as directed by the Management Board;
-Continual evaluation and, if necessary, amendment of the Benelux laws on trademarks and drawings/designs, in the light of international, Community and other developments.
Registration & Maintenance Processes:
· Filing of trademarks within the jurisdiction of Benelux countries can be either through the national offices of each country or at the Benelux office at Hague.
· Filing with the National Office is followed by transmittal of the application to the Benelux office without delay.
· Upon receipt of the applications from the national office, the Benelux Office publishes the application as per conditions specified in the treaty.
· Upon the application fulfilling all the necessary legal requirements and passing the examination process without any objection from third parties, is registered and a certification of registration issued to the applicant accordingly.
· Term of registration of trademarks lasts for 10 yrs. Initially from the date of registration and have to be periodically renewed every once in 10 yrs.
· all administrative and legal proceedings take place at the Benelux office pertaining to the registration, renewals and maintenance of trademarks.
· International filings of trademarks arising out of the Benelux treaty are subject to the Madrid System of International law pertaining to trademarks.