Important amendments in the Community Trademark Regulation
On March 23, 2016, the EU Trademark Regulation (EUTMR) enters into force. This regulation stipulates that the so far known community trademark is renamed to “European Union Trademark” or “EU Trademark“. Furthermore, from that day on, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will be known as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Besides the above mentioned name change, there will also be made several amendments in the substantive law and fees by means of the EU Trademark Regulation. In the first place, from March 23, 2016, EU trademark applications are solely to be filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). That means that the possibility of filing such trademark applications with the Central Authority for Intellectual Property of the member states or the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property will vanish.
Moreover from October 1, 2017, the requirement of the graphical presentability of the EU trademark will no longer be obligatory. Also from October 1, 2017, the new trademark type “EU Certification Mark” is registerable (Art. 74a ff. EUTMR). Such EU certification marks shall show that the proprietor of the mark guaranties the material, the mode of manufacture of goods and performance of services, the quality, the accuracy or other characteristics of the goods. Accordingly, the EU certification mark points out for which goods and services such warranty of quality of the trademark proprietor applies and for which goods and services of other providers such characteristics are not guaranteed.
The fee amendments in the EU Trademark Regulation provide that an application for an EU trademark can be filed now for only one class and a respective fee of EUR 850. Up to now, for filing an application of a community trademark, which automatically included three classes, a basic fee of EUR 900 had to be paid. Whoever needs an EU trademark for goods and services of further classes is charged EUR 50 for the second class and EUR 150 for each additional class. As a result, those applicants for a EU trademark covering only one class pay less now. If the EU trademark covers three or more classes, which occurs frequently, the official fees climb over those for the community trademark.
While the application fee for the EU trademark rises over the community trademark fees, the renewal fees are lowered. The renewal fee for the first class is now EUR 850, while that for the second class is EUR 50 and EUR 150 for each additional class. Since the trademark renewal fee for the first three classes used to be EUR 1.350 and for each further class EUR 400, the maintenance fee for the EU trademark will be cheaper from the end of March 2016.
It is also to mention that the fee for opposition will be reduced to EUR 320, the fee for the application for revocation or for declaration of invalidity will be reduced to EUR 630 and the appeal fee will be reduced to EUR 720.