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Get ready for trade mark changes in Europe



James Nurton, London


Far-reaching changes to the Community trade mark and national trade mark systems will come into effect early next year, after they were approved in a vote in the European Parliament

Yesterday's vote was the final legislative hurdle in the EU trade mark reform package, which has been discussed over many years. The final texts are expected to be published soon, and will come into effect after 90 days, which will probably be in early April.

The package includes changes to the EU Trade Marks Directive, which EU member states will have three years to implement. One of the significant reforms is that national offices will have to offer administrative cancellation proceedings: those that do not already provide these will have up to seven years to introduce them.

The package also includes a revised Trade Mark Regulation, which is the text that governs the CTM. Under the changes, the CTM will be renamed the EU trade mark and OHIM will become the EUIPO.

The changes will see a number of fees reduced, and also enable trade mark owners to seize counterfeit goods in transit through the EU. In addition, they attempt to harmonise practices between national offices in a number of areas.

For more details, see the information published by: INTA, ECTA and MARQUES.

For background, read: EU trade mark reform - the six key changes, published earlier this year.

Managing IP will publish a detailed analysis of the impact of the changes early in 2016.


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