Düsseldorf, January 14, 2016 – A new Trademark Directive has come into force as of January 12, 2016. The new EU Directive (2015/2436) was adopted on December 16, 2015 after several years of negotiations by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The amendment also includes a new Community Trademark Regulation (2015/2424), which will come into effect on March 23, 2016. This reform of trademark law brings with it far-reaching changes as compared to the previous, community trademark law which has been valid since 1996.
The amendments are aimed at modernizing the European trademark system as well as simplifying and accelerating the registration procedure. Here the trademark offices of the EU Member States and the Office for Harmonization for the Internal Market (soon: "Office of the European Union for Intellectual Property") are to work together better in the future. The member states have three years to implement the majority of articles; while the directive even envisages seven years for the implementation of Article 45 (expiration / invalidity of a trademark). The 57 (instead of previously 19) articles of the directive include, among other things, the precept that a fee will be charged for each individual goods/service category (so-called. "Nice class"). The fees for renewals as well as for appeals, cancellation proceedings, complaints and other procedures will be reduced. A "Community Trademark" will become a "Union Trademark" and the definition of a trademark will be expanded: In future it shall also include "guarantee or warranty trademarks", which include features such as material or quality of goods and services.
“The trademark reform is an important step on the way to a uniform and harmonized trademark law system at EU level. It is instrumental in promoting innovation and thus economic growth within the EU member states," says Andreas Thielmann, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack.