Cancellation advice

Sometimes designs are registered that are not "novel" or new at all. These registrations can be nullified or cancelled and are deemed to have never existed. In such situations, NLO Shieldmark can give you specific advice about starting a cancellation or nullity action against an existing design.


Nullity proceedings

In nullity proceedings, also referred to as a cancellation or nullity action, a petition is filed to have a design registration cancelled or nullified. NLO Shieldmark can give you legal advice and act on your behalf in a nullity action against the design registration of a third party. Naturally, we can also represent you if somebody else starts a nullity action against your own design registration.


Grounds for nullification/cancellation of a design

The criteria for determining whether or not a design is eligible for registration are in principle the same criteria used to determine whether or not another design can be deemed to be infringing.


  • Criteria for design validity: is it new?
    A design must be "novel", in other words new. A design is only considered to be new in the EU if an application for registration has been filed within a maximum of one year after the date on which it was published or disclosed to third parties. For the assessment of novelty, both in the Benelux and in the European Union, the design must have been disclosed to specialists in the relevant sector in the European Economic Area (European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).     
  • Criteria for design validity: does it have an individual character?
    A design must have individual character. This means that the new design must be visibly distinguishable from existing designs. An important consideration here is the freedom of the designer in the preparation of  the design. When making the design, the designer has to take into account the functional requirements of the work and can therefore be limited in his creation. The amount of individual freedom required differs from one commercial sector to the other.



Would you like to know more about a nullity or cancellation action or would you like tailor-made nullity advice concerning your own situation? If so, contact one of the design attorneys of NLO Shieldmark.


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Fake invoices

Fake invoices are unfortunately a well known problem among trademark owners. A fake invoice is a misleading invoice (or letter) which reffers to a trademark, design, patent or patent application. A payment is requested for a publication in a register or to extend the validity of a registration.They use names like Worldwide database or Trademarks and Patents, Euro IP Register, International Patent & Trademark Database.


More information and examples of fake invoices


Our advice: don't pay. Please contact us is you have any doubts.

NLO Shieldmark wins Award ‘Benelux - Firm of the Year for Trade Mark Prosecution’

NLO Shieldmark is proud to have been voted ‘Benelux - Firm of the Year for Trade Mark Prosecution’ by the highly respected Managing IP magazine. The award was presented on Thursday 10 March 2016 in London.


We wish to thank our clients and fellow professionals for their positive feedback and for believing in our quality and service.