04 October 2017

Trademark changes open up opportunities

Changes to EU trademark regulations open up opportunities for applicants.

Important changes to EU trade mark regulation have come into effect on 1 October, with a new EU certification mark being made available and the requirement for trade marks to be represented graphically being abolished. This should make it significantly easier for applicants to apply for ‘non-traditional’ trade marks. Outlining the changes, Stephen Hodsdon, partner and trademark attorney at IP specialists Mewburn Ellis, intellectual property specialists, said: 'It was previously a requirement for an EU TM application to contain a graphical representation of the mark applied for. This will no longer be the case after the beginning of October. Instead, the mark can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technologies.' He added that this change would make it 'easier for applicants who apply for ‘non-traditional’ trade marks; reducing the number of objections, increasing legal certainty and reflecting the current state of technology. This is an exciting step forward and we eagerly await the benefits it will bring to businesses and wider innovation.'

EU Certification Mark

A new ‘certification mark’ has been introduced which, says Mr Hodsdon, will 'certainly open up exciting new opportunities for applicants. Its function is to guarantee that the goods or services that have been certified contain specific characteristics and to distinguish them from goods or services that have not been so certified.These marks have long been available in many individual countries, but never before at the EU level. This opens up new opportunities for certification bodies to achieve pan-European recognition that was previously only available for specific goods under schemes for designations of origin.'