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New legislation

10 Nov 2017

On 1 October 2017, Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending the Community Trade Mark Regulation (“the Regulation”') has come into force. The changes are important to those who register trademarks on a European level and use the mark across the European Union.

Some essential changes have come into effect. 

First, the requirement to provide a graphic representation of the mark no longer exists. Trademark owners will be able to display the marks in any appropriate form using universally available technology. However, the presentation of the brand must be clear, precise, independent, easily accessible, understandable, long-lasting and objective. This change encourages the protection of non-traditional marks, such as holograms, sounds, moving marks, odors, etc.

Secondly, the protection of guarantee and certification marks will come into force across the EU. Using the certification marks, the issuing authority or organization may allow the certification system participant to use the mark as a mark of goods or services that confirms the compliance of the goods or services with the certification requirements.

Thirdly, stricter requirements for registering signs are introduced. Trademark owners must not infringe geographical indications, plant varieties, or traditional product names protected under EU or national law when registering new trademarks.

Fourthly, the provisions of the Regulation will also contribute to combating counterfeiting. The proprietor of the mark may prohibit the import of goods bearing a trademark protected in EU countries unless the person carrying them proves that the owner of the mark is not entitled to prohibit the placing of those goods on the market in the country of final destination. Also, the brand owner will have more tools to deal with individuals who sell, store, import, or export packaging and labels bearing trademark counterfeits.

Finally, the overall financial burden of registering and protecting a EU mark will be reduced.  The basic fee for an individual EU trademark application filed electronically is 850 Eur.

The text of the Regulation can be found here.

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