NEW REGULATION ON THE EUROPEAN UNION TRADEMARK
As we have seen in previous publications, Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and of the Council ("amending Regulation") amending the Community Trade Mark Regulation entered into force on 23 March 2016. The Regulation introduced important changes, some of which were to be developed and implemented as from 1 October 2017 with the entry into force of the Rules of Procedure (Implementation Regulation (EU) 2017/1431 of the Commission of 18 May 2017) and the Delegate Rules (Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1430 of the Commission of 18 May 2017).
The most significant changes to be implemented are aimed at increasing legal certainty, efficiency and uniformity of the European Union's trademark law provisions. Broadly speaking, the amendments to be applied from 1 October 2017 will be as follows:
1. The graphic representation of the marks. Until now, the trademark application has been made according to a graphic representation of the same. However, with the entry into force of the amending Regulation, other ways of representing a trademark using the technology available at all times will be acceptable provided that it is sufficiently clear, precise, complete, easily accessible and searchable.
2. Certification marks. A new legal instrument has been introduced (similar to the guarantee marks provided for in the current trademark legislation in Spain) which allows the registration of a type of trademark that guarantees certain specific characteristics of certain goods and services through the so-called "certification marks". In particular, the European Union certification mark is defined as a mark which makes it possible to distinguish the goods or services certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of materials, the method of manufacture of goods or of rendering of services, the quality, precision or other characteristics, with the exception of the geographical origin, of goods and services which do not possess such certification. For its application, it must fulfil certain requirements and submit a use regulation that includes the characteristics, conditions of use, tests and supervision measures to be applied by the trademark owner.
3. Procedural changes. New practices of the Office with regard to claiming distinctiveness acquired as a subsidiary or alternative claim shall apply; requirements for admissibility of oppositions in order to take account of the separate plea on geographical indications introduced by Article 8 (6) of the Trade Mark Regulation of the European Union; - conditions of admissibility of oppositions to take account of the separate plea on geographical indications introduced by Article 8 (6) of the Trade Mark Regulation of the European Union; documentation accrediting earlier rights (the Office' acknowledges' all databases of national IP offices, and TMview is also accepted as a portal through which' access to these national offices'); simplification of translation requirements; updating the media with the Office, eliminating outdated channels of communication.
4. Resources. The provisions relating to the Boards of Appeal which were in different legislative sources, the reorganisation and structure of the Board of Appeal and new clarifying provisions on the admissibility of appeals are consolidated in a single text.
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