Europe: Trademark Reforms Come Into Force on October 1, 2017

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Europe: Trademark Reforms Come Into Force on October 1, 2017

Effective Sunday, October 1, 2017, the second round of reforms to the EU trademark system will come into force.  The first wave of changes took place in March of 2016 with the implementation of the new trademark regulation (2015/2424) .  The latest changes are summarized below:

  1. Removal of graphical representation- One of the major changes is the removal of the requirement for graphical representation for EU trademarks (EUTMs).The result is that marks can be represented in any appropriate form, as long as the representation is “clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.”

    Sounds and colors are now explicitly registerable under the trademark rules.

  2. EU Certification Mark

    The EU certification mark will allow a certifying institution or organization to permit parties adhering to the certification system to use the mark as a sign for goods and services, as long as they comply with the certification requirements.

    Some EU countries previously allowed certification marks, although a number of them (including Germany) did not.

    3.  Procedural Changes

    The changes will also bring a number of procedural amendments into force, relating to the filing of priority claims and the enforcement of acquired distinctiveness.