The next wave of changes brought by the EU Trademark Regulation is applicable on 1 October 2017

Heads up! The new wave of IP legislation changes comes into force in less than six months from now. As we all know, the new Trademark regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/2424) came into force on 23 March 2016. However, a few crucial articles apply only from 1 October 2017 on.


What are the changes?

Most notably, the graphical representation requirement will be removed. Instead, the stipulation of a clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective representation will be sufficient. To clarify these conditions, EUIPO will offer additional information, as well as samples of acceptable formats.

Another big novelty is the introduction of EU certification marks. This is an EU trademark promising that certain EU-level requirements were fulfilled, differentiating manufacturer or service provider from others. Therefore, while a “regular” trademark indicates origin, a certification mark will indicate quality.

When speaking of procedural changes, filing a priority claim and the application will now have to be done together, as the previously given 2 months grace period has been subtracted. The simplification and modernization of procedural rules will lead to a faster and easier opposition, cancelation and appeal procedures. Also, in case of a parallel surrender of a EUTM and an ongoing revocation proceeding, EUIPO will suspend the surrender.

Smaller but significant changes include new rules on communication methods, translation requirements, structures of annexes, time limits, etc.


Next steps

It was announced that EUIPO is going to publish a first draft of the ever-helpful Guidelines on 02 May 2017, in order to make the transition into the new set of rules smoother. The final version is not foreseen until 1 October 2017, but the interim Guidelines are already expected to be of great help.