Following the previous modification of the Community Trade Mark Regulation (“EUTMR”, Regulation (EU) 2015/2424), further changes entered into force on 1 October 2017. The main cornerstones of the reforms are the abolishing of the graphical representation requirement and introducing the EU certification marks.
From 1 October 2017 the graphical representation requirement of trademarks is removed. Accordingly, 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 new EUTMIR sets out a list of new types of mark including multimedia marks.
Also, a new type of trademark at EU level was borne, i.e. the EU certification mark, for the purpose of indicating that goods and services comply with the certification requirements of a certifying institution or organisation. They act as a sign of supervised quality, which may prove to be highly beneficial for certifying bodies with interests across the EU.
The modification largely covers procedural rules in relation to oppositions, cancellations and appeals, as well as details concerning the organisation of the Boards of Appeal. These provisions represent the second phase of the EU trademark reform, and now that all the planned changes are in place, it is expected that the benefits of an improved, modern system in operation will be visible soon.