EU Trade Mark Application Structure Set to Change

A faster, cheaper and overall more effective method of obtaining a trade mark in the EU may be available by 2014. A proposal was released by the European Commission last month which contained details on how the proposed reform would improve conditions for businesses, particularly small to medium sized businesses.

The proposed reform aims to alter the pricing structure of a trade mark registration by enabling businesses to obtain a trade mark in a single class specific to their needs. This would replace the existing structure of businesses having to pay 900 Euros to obtain a trademark in a minimum of 3 classes. The ability of businesses being able to obtain a trade mark in a single class will allow for both a reduction in cost and time.

The proposed reform also seeks to make a number of further improvements to the current system, these include:

  • Improvement to registration procedures by streamlining and harmonising them at Member State level, taking the Community Trade mark system as a benchmark.
  • Removal of outdated provisions and ambiguities. The incorporation of extensive case law of the Court of Justice to clarify the scope and limitation of trade mark, resulting in increased  legal certainty.
  • More protection and an improved means of obtaining justice in cases of counterfeit goods and
  • The promotion of a platform to enable improved co-operation between National offices with the EU Trade mark agency.

These proposed changes are due to come into force by the end of 2013 and are sure to be welcomed by small and medium businesses as to lower the cost of cross border trade.

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