EU trade mark reform legislative package published - news

    EU trade mark reform legislative package published

    The package comprises a new EU Trade Mark Directive (harmonising the trade mark laws of the EU Member States) and a series of amendments to the EU Trade Mark Regulation (which sets out the rules applicable to EU trade marks and to the Office). It marks the culmination of the work that has been carried out during the last seven years on the reform of the EU trade mark system.

    Under the provisions of the amending Regulation (2015/2424), the name of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will change to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This change will come into effect on March 23, 2016, when the legislation enters into force.

    The Community trade mark, administered by the OHIM since 1996, will be renamed the European Union trade mark on March 23, 2016. On that date all Community trade marks will automatically become European Union trade marks; users do not have to take any action.

    The fees payable to the Office will also change under the amending Regulation. There will be:

    • A new one-fee-per-class system for trade mark application and renewal fees
    • An overall decrease in trade mark application and renewal fees payable to the Office.

    More detail on the revised fee structure, and the other technical changes which will enter into force on March 23 are available on OHIM's dedicated website section.

    Moreover, on March 23, 2016, the date of entry into force of the amending Regulation, all the Office's online tools and services will be fully updated to reflect the changes in the fee structure. The online fee calculator and list of fees payable will also be updated. On March 23, 2016, an updated version of the Guidelines for Examination will also enter into force, which will reflect the changes introduced by its amendments in the Office's trade mark examination practice.

    The new Directive (2015/2436) will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal, but the Member States will then have three years to transpose them into their national law (seven years as regards the provision of an administrative procedure for the cancellation of national marks).