This article addresses the impact of the new EU trademark reform and regime on businesses and their competitiveness. Under the auspices of the Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission proclaimed its commitment to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth with the focus on supporting competitiveness. Consequently, the sphere of intellectual property became pivotal and led to the enactment of a set of Regulations and Directives designed to reform the EU trademark system. The ultimate goal of this reform was to facilitate competitiveness and to contribute to the entrepreneurial drive in this respect by reducing registration costs per class and by offering new types of trademark. The statistical data generated by the exploration of the EUIPO, along with data on all registered unconventional EUTMs and case studies of the annual filing of top applicants, provides a sufficient foundation for a critical meta-analysis in order to assess the business interest in one class of trademark, in new trademark types and in trademark portfolio strategies. The results reveal a split between the trademark perspective of the EU and that of businesses, and answer these three research questions in a surprising manner. The surrounding discussions and arguments even suggest that the entrepreneurial drive for competitiveness through the employment of EUTMs is not effectively and efficiently supported by the reform. A holistic approach and preferences recognised by businesses point to a need for the enhancement of awareness and significant changes to this reform to make it a true mechanism for protecting legitimate entrepreneurial interests and competitiveness.
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Dr. Radka MacGregor Pelikánová, MBA, has a strong legal, business management and economic academic background, with professional experience gained in the Czech Republic, France and the United States. She is a lawyer licensed to practice in the Czech Republic and Michigan and an economist with over 20 years’ experience as an intellectual property (IP), business, competition and corporate social responsibility (CSR) expert. She has more than 10 years of experience as an academic lecturer, researcher and prolific writer of eight books and over 100 articles, 30 of them published in journals classified in the WoS and/or Scopus database.
Robert MacGregor, MBA, is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with an MBA in Finance and BA in Accounting. He has extensive business experience in management, retail and real estate. In Michigan, he has published more than 50 articles in various magazines and four books. Over the last five years, he has engaged more intensively in academic lecturing, giving public speeches and publishing articles on international trade, SMEs, IS/IT, sustainability and USAEU relationships.