EU trade mark regulation changes applying 1 October 2017

September 2017

Last March, the new EU trade mark regulation brought a number of changes to trade mark practice at the EUIPO into being.  The Amending Regulation also contained a number of provisions that would come into force only 21 months after its publication, as they had to be developed by secondary legislation.  These changes will apply from 1 October 2017.

Elimination of the requirement of graphical representation

The graphical representation requirement no longer applies when submitting a trade mark application as from 1 October 2017. This means that, from that date, signs can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.  The objective of this change is to increase legal certainty for users and reduce the objection rate for formality objections.

Creation of a new European Union certification trade mark

The EU certification mark is defined as a mark that is “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.”  In essence, a EU certification mark relates to the guarantee of specific characteristics of certain goods and services.

Other procedural changes

These include changes to the filing of priority claims, opposition and cancelation proceedings and changes to communications by fax – any procedural changes will be reflected in the revised EUIPO Guidelines.   

If you would like any further advice about the new legislation, please contact your usual trade mark representative or visit out Contact page to get in touch with your nearest HGF office.