October brings EU Trade Mark changes
The EU trade mark system has gone under a number of changes in recent years to become the system it is today. However, it seems the changes have not yet finished.
To compliment the changes made in March last year, October 1st 2017 will see the system change once again.
There will be a number of additions and removals for trade mark owners and representatives to get used to.
A summary of changes are as follows:
- ‘Graphical Representation’ requirement removed
This is a key change and will have a big effect on applications. Before the change takes place, it is a requirement for all applications to be represented graphically on the application. This proved difficult for those who were looking to register unusual marks such as sound marks or moving images. The interest in non-conventional mark applications were dwindling as it was so difficult to succeed in an application. The change will simplify the application process and allow applicants to file marks in MP3 and MP4 formats. In addition, figurative marks will be applied for using a JPEG file, removing the need for a long and detailed written description.
- EU Certification marks
Moving in line with the UK, certifying bodies will be able to register a certification mark in the EU. A certification mark is used to highlight that a particular good or service satisfies a body’s rules and regulation. An example of this is the Fairtrade logo.
The application will cost €1,500 and will allow a certifying body to obtain a certification mark, in the same way as the UK, if the certifying body operates in multiple EU member states.
- Priority claims
After the 1st October, priority claims will now have to filed at the same time as the trade mark application. The current position allows a party to file a priority claim with the trade mark application to follow
- Acquired distinctiveness claims
As it currently stands, an applicant can only make a claim for acquired distinctiveness as an alternative claim. The changes will allow the applicant to also make a subsidiary claim. This means an applicant will only have to prepare and file evidence if their initial claim for inherent distinctiveness fails. An applicant will no longer have to waste time and money preparing the acquired distinctiveness paperwork for it then not to be needed.
There are a number of smaller procedural changes which will also come into effect on October 1st which will try and allow the system to run more smoothly.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact The Trademarkroom team today.
By Ellis Sweetenham