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New Community Trademark Regulation. Most relevant changes

On 24 December 2015 the Community Trademark Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2424 and a new Trademark Directive was published, modifying the trademark system in Europe. The new regulation will come into force on 23rd  March 2016, although not all changes will have an impact on this date.

The most significant changes are:

1. The CTM will be called European Union Trademark, and the Office will be renamed as European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) .

2. The new trademark applications should not be represented graphically, favoring the registration of non-traditional marks. So, from now brands must register with the Office in the form that allows consumers and authorities to determine what is protected by the applicant.

3. The application fees of the new EU Trademarks include only one class of goods or services. Additional fees for each additional class will need to be paid.

4. Counterfeits in transit in the EU involves a violation of the rights of trademark owners. Currently, goods in transit, in general, did not involve a violation of trademark rights.

5. A new brand concept is created, guarantee marks, which may be used by authorized entities, in order to certify consumers that the products and / or services claimed have certain characteristics. In Spain already exist.

6. The use of a trademark by a third party without the consent of the owner, as a trade name or trade name of the company is an infringement of use of the trademark.

7. With regard to evidence of use, unlike the legally established so far, the defendant may request the owner of the earlier mark (minimum of five years of registration) to prove the use of its brands at the beginning of the procedure trademark infringement.

8. As is currently the case with CTM, national industrial property offices should create appropriate mechanisms to oppose or initiate actions for invalidation and cancellation trademarks administratively, thus avoiding having to go to Court, consequently facilitating these actions.

9. The process of registration of trademarks, including dates of application and standards for classifying products and services, will be harmonized throughout the European Union. 6 months will be granted to registered owners to verify that the list of registered products and services correspond to their current activity trademarks.

10. May be used in the context of comparative advertising, the European Union Trademark or the national trademark of a third party, provided they respect Directive 2006/114 concerning misleading and comparative advertising.

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