The European Trade Mark and Design Network (TMDN) is an initiative to reduce the differences in practices between the national offices and also the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and to provide different options for protecting trademark and design rights within the EU.
The TMDN has 3 strands:
- convergence of IT tools through the Cooperation Fund
- voluntary convergence of practice via a Convergence Programme
- a move to further harmonise legislation which is being led by the European Commission
Three common communications have been issued as a result of work under the Convergence Programme following the Court ruling in Case C-307/10 ‘IP Translator’.
The first communication issued in May 2013 set out the practice of TMDN offices prior to and after IP Translator. The second sets out the conclusions of the Convergence Programme project tasked with determining which General Indications of the Nice Classification lack the requisite ‘clarity’ and ‘precision’. These communications should be read in conjunction with PAN 03/13 “Lists of goods/services and the use of Class Headings”.