CHANGES IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY TRADEMARK SYSTEM

The new legislation for the European Community Trademark System enters into force on March 23, 2016. The major changes are i.a. as follows:

- Change of name: The European Community Trademark authority in Alicante, Spain – Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM)- will change its name to the European Union Intellectual Property Office – EUIPO. The denomination “European Community Trademark“ (CTM) will then be “European Union Trademark”  (EUTM).  As of March 23, 2016 all existing CTM marks and marks applied for will be European Union Trademarks. 

- Change in fees: The previous filing fee for an (electronic) application was 900 Euro and covered 3 classes of goods/services. The fees will be changed to 850 Euro for an application in one class, 50 Euro for the 2 nd class, and 150 Euro for the 3 rd and each subsequent class. The renewal fee for a EUTM was earlier 1350 Euro for 3 classes, but will now be 850 Euro for one class, 50 Euro for the 2 nd  class, and 150 Euro for the 3 rd and each subsequent class.

- Validity: The validity of a EUTM registration will be 10 years from the date of registration, and not as before 10 years from the date of filing.

- Use: The period of time to make genuine use of a EUTM in the European Union will now be 5 years from the date of filing of the trademark, and not as before 5 years from the date of registration. It is important that owners of EUTMs save documents and proof of use of the mark in order to avoid possible third party attacks based on non-use. 

-Scope of protection: If you have an old EUTM registration or filed an application prior to June 22, 2012, and in which the goods/services cover the Nice Class Headings (which now partly are not accepted by EUIPO), a review is necessary to ascertain that you have proper protection for your mark and the goods/services concerned. 

Please contact us if you or your client have such a registration and if advice is needed whether an amendment would be needed.