European Trade Mark Reform

March 2016
James Hutchinson

On 23 March 2016, the body responsible for regulating European trade marks (called Community Trade Marks) will change its name. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will become the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

At the same time, the Community Trade Mark will become the European Union Trade Mark.

The changes are introduced by Regulation No 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and Council. The Regulation also seeks to:

  • streamline proceedings and increase legal certainty;
  • define clearly all the EUIPO’s tasks including the framework for cooperation and convergence of practices between the EUIPO and the intellectual property offices of the Member States; and
  • revise the fees payable to the EUIPO, including an overall reduction in their amounts, particularly significant in the case of renewals, and the adoption of a one-class-per-fee system.

Companies should be vigilant if they receive unsolicited post/emails requesting payment for trade mark and design services. OHIM/EUIPO never send users invoices or letters requesting direct payment for services. However, some of our clients report receiving invoices that contain logos and/or names which are very similar to OHIM’s current logo and/or name – or, in some cases, which are similar to the new name.

Samples of misleading invoices can be found at – https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/misleading-invoices.

If you have any queries regarding the changes introduced by the Regulation, or on trade marks generally, please contact James Hutchinson on 020 7469 0408, or at j.hutchinson@beale-law.com

 

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