From 1 October 2017 some changes will occur in the field of the protection of the European Union trademark. In brief, three macro areas can be identified: changes in the rules concerning the graphical representation of the mark; introduction of the EU certification mark, some procedural changes.
Graphical representation: from 1 October 2017 EUIPO specifies that the signs can be represented “in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective”. In this way, some categories of trademarks become acceptable, particularly those trademarks which are not susceptible to graphic representation like, for example multimedia trademarks.
EU certification marks: According to the article 74a, 1) of the EU Regulation n.2015/2424 “an EU certification mark. .is capable of distinguishing goods or services which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of material, mode od manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, with the exception of geographical origin, from goods and services which are not so certified”.
According to the article 74a, 2) “any natural or legal person…may apply for EU certification marks provided that such person does not carry on a business involving the supply of goods or services of the kind certified”.
An applicant for an EU certification mark shall submit regulations governing the use of the certification mark within two months of the date of filing.
Procedural changes: Among the others (the following is not an exhaustive list) there are changes in the following areas: priority, acquired distinctiveness, opposition and cancellation proceedings, languages and translations, communication with the Office, Boards of Appeal.