The proposed changes are:
1. Regarding TM matters, there will be only oral hearings upon motivated requests filed by the parties. The question remains how strict the court will be on the motivation.
2. It is proposed that trade mark matters can be given to a single judge.
Further in the note, the Court is asking for a Judicial Panel for trade mark matters but it is not in the proposal as such. I have been told that regarding the oral hearings, in practice all will depend on how strict the court will be on the motivation. Indeed, it appears that today many parties do not show up in the oral proceedings (which causes unnecessary delays in the proceedings) and that in many trade mark matters the oral hearings does not make a change. On the single judge, this might lead to further lack of harmonization in the decisions. As to the last note, it is not evident that the ECJ will agree on the request of the CFI. So this is the information I have been able to obtain - and I am still trying to obtain the written text. To be noted that the request of the CFI was transmitted to the ECJ on Sept 14 and that the ECJ should provide for its decision by the end of this month. Note that while oral hearings before Examiners and Boards of Appeal in the UK, Germany and other countries are common, OHIM has always refused such hearings. The only chance to really argue a case has been before the CFI and this chancecold now be reduced. The changes still need to be approved by the ECJ before submitting the proposal to the Council for final adoption. This has only "become" public since last Friday as reference toit was made at the judge symposium organised by OHIM - but documents have not yet been made available officially to the public.