Rules relating to the new EU trade mark reforms are set to take effect in March.
The new regulations were published in the Official Journal of the European Union at the end of last year and although EU member states now have up to three years to implement the directive into their national legislations, most of the provisions of the directly-applicable regulation will come into force on 23 March 2016.
Many businesses that need to protect their companies’ interests across Europe will welcome these reforms as they will reduce the cost of registering and renewing Community trademarks.
A significant part of the reforms is the move to a new ‘one-class-per-fee’ system, meaning a separate application and renewal charge will apply for each class of goods that brand owners wish to obtain Community trade mark protection for.
The new fee structure will reduce the cost of renewing Community trademarks. It currently costs €1,350 to renew Community trademarks covering goods in three classes, but this will fall to €1,050 under the new system, whilst it will cost €850 to renew Community trade marks in a single class.
The new rules will harmonise trade mark registration procedures across the EU and introduce a new procedure which will allow businesses to challenge both new applications and already-registered trademarks through their national trademark registry, without having to go to court.
BJ Chong a partner and Intellectual Property expert with Palmers said: “Companies need to check that all of their brands, logos and main product lines are protected. However, they also need to be aware that there are a number of scams currently circulating, with conmen attempting to take advantageby sending fake trademark renewal demands from the ‘new’ EU trade mark office.”
For help and support with all aspects of intellectual property, please contact us.