New EU Trade Mark Regulations: What's changing?
This week, on 23 March 2016, the new EU Trade Mark Regulations will come into force. The aim of the new regulations is to make trade mark registration systems in the EU cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable.
The new regulations will bring about a number of changes, set out below is a brief summary of some of the most important changes that will come into effect this week:
The Office for Harmonization's in the Internal Market (OHIM) will now be known as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and a Community Trade Mark (CTM) will be known as a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM).
In accordance with the new Regulations' aim to make a cheaper trade mark registration system in the EU, a new fee structure will be introduced. The new fee structure offers reductions on the fees payable to the Office in relation to opposition proceedings, invalidity proceedings, revocation proceedings and appeals. In addition, application and renewal fees will now operate on a one-fee-per-class system and there will be an overall reduction of the fees due, resulting in renewals and applications being significantly cheaper than before.
For further details on the reduced renewal fees please click here.
Classification of goods and services
Significant changes will be implemented in relation to the EUIPO's interpretation of descriptions of goods and services. These changes could have a significant effect on the protection provided by CTMs filed prior to 22 June 2012.
In light of these changes, the EUIPO are offering a one off opportunity to the owners of CTMs filed before 22 June 2012 to clarify the scope of their specification. These amendments must be carried out before the deadline of 23 September 2016.
To find out more about the changes coming into force, how they could affect you and what you can do to ensure your CTM registration continues to provide the protection you require, please see here.
If you have any questions in relation to any of the changes coming into force or you wish to amend your CTM specification then please contact a member of the Trade Mark team at Ben.Evans@blakemorgan.co.uk or Nicola.Rochon@blakemorgan.co.uk.