Key changes to the EU Trade Mark Regulation come into force on 1 October 2017.
In March last year Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 came into force amending the previously named Community Trade Mark Regulation. A number of those changes will take effect on 1 October 2017. The three main elements are:
- The "graphical representation" requirement will not apply to EU trade mark applications applied for on or after 1 October. A mark can be represented in any form as long as it is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective. The EUIPO has provided some guidance at its site www.euipo.europa.eu as to the formats of representation that will be accepted.
- The EU Certification Mark will come into being. The mark is defined as being "capable of distinguishing goods or services which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics; with the exception of geographical origin, from goods and services which are not so certified."
- A number of procedural changes will come into force. Applicants will be able to cite acquired distinctiveness as a subsidiary or alternative claim. This could prevent parties from incurring unnecessary costs if inherent distinctiveness is later held to exist. Translation requirements have also been simplified and assignment of an EU trade mark can be sought as an alternative remedy to invalidation. All of the changes are detailed in the EUIPO Guidelines.