Starting January 14, trademark invalidation and non-use cancellation actions will be handled within the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) and no longer by the civil courts.
This change has been brought about thanks to the Directive 2015/2436 whose purpose is to harmonize the trademark legislation of the countries of the European Union. An immediate consequence of this reform will be that these actions will become simpler and, quite possibly, cheaper. Invalidation and cancellation actions will still be available in civil court in the context of a counterclaim in a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Invalidation actions are instruments offered by the law to annul registered trademarks under a series of set motives, including relative grounds (that is, that the trademark in question conflicts with previous rights), or absolute grounds (for example, that it is descriptive, or that it has been filed in bad faith, among others). For their part, non-use cancellation actions are exercised, fundamentally, against registered trademarks that have not been used in the market for more than five years.