In a desire to simplify procedures, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property has made 4 major changes:
Marks can be renewed simply by paying the renewal fee
As from October 1st 2013, sending the renewal payment fee is sufficient to maintain trademark protection. It is no longer necessary to send a prior written request. Moreover, it is possible to pay fees online on the Office website which thereby simplifies the procedure.
A new working language
French and Dutch were the two official languages, but as from October 1st 2013 English is now a third option. In effect, applications can now be filed in English which would lead to the whole procedure being completed in English.
Calculation of the opposition period
The calculation of the opposition period will no longer be based on the first day of the month following publication but on the publication date itself. In other words, for a publication made on November 20 2013, the opposition period would expire on January 20 2014 and no longer on February 1st 2014.
Extension of the period for the suspension of oppositions
In the event of the suspension of an opposition procedure, the previous delay of two months has now been extended to four months.