The new EU trademark Regulation (2015/2424) came into force last month and there are a number of important changes that have been made to the European trademark system that you will need to be aware of if you are applying, registering or renewing a trademark.
The amending Regulation took almost 3 years to be agreed before it was approved, there was a lot debate and the final Regulation brings with it a number of innovative changes. The core objective of these amendments are to better facilitate the trademark registration process by making it quicker, bring the legislation up to modern standards and reduce the cost. Faster, better and more cost-effective are three core ideas that sit at the very heart of our vision here at TrademarkNow.
The most notable differences are:
- 1. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will now be called the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Community trade mark (CTM) will be called the European Union trade mark (EUTM).
- 2. The trademark registration fee structure has changed, the previous trademark application fee covered protection for three classes and would have cost between €900–1050. There is now a fee-for-each-class-system for trademark applications and renewals. The one class application will cost €850, adding a second class will cost €50 more, adding a third and all subsequent classes will cost €150 per a class. Filing the application on paper rather than electronically also costs €150 extra.
- 3. The regulation also harmonized renewal fees to be the same as application fees. Additionally, there are also minor reductions in cancellation, appeal and opposition fees.
- 4. The regulation also harmonized the legislation with European case law; especially the judgment in the IP Translator case of the CJEU has been implemented. The extensive specifications of goods and services of community trademarks which cover “class heading” terms are no longer accepted, and goods and services in existing registrations will be interpreted literally from now on. Owners of EU trademarks registered for class heading products have until September 24 to file a declaration to amend the list of goods and services to also include products that are no longer covered according to the new interpretation.
- 5. Finally, the new regulation provides registration for non-traditional trademarks, this means there is no longer a requirement to represent the mark graphically.
When these changes were announced, we were very excited. At TrademarkNow we take trademark law very seriously and pay close attention to all the global trademark offices to make sure we are up-to-date with all regulation changes. It could be said that the EUIPO was already better than most when it comes to its regulatory framework, though we very much welcome the modernization.
Photo Credit : Rock Cohen