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European Union Trademark Reform Package Approved

Harmonization of the varied aspects of the EU Community trademark system and the individual member states systems has been a long-standing goal of the EU Parliament.  Now they have done something about it. On 15 December 2015, the European Parliament approved the biggest reform of the European trademark law in decades. The so called "reform packages" were published in the Official Journal of the EU on December 23 and 24, 2015.  With few exceptions, the EU regulations will go into effect on March 16, 2016.

The reform package includes a new regulation, amending the Regulation on the Community trademark, and a new directive to change the laws of the Member States while providing them with three years for national implementation.  Despite of the fact that this legislation is still to be published in the Official Journal, we would like to briefly outline some interesting changes:

• The name "Community trademark" is replaced by the new term "European Union trademark". The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market is renamed to "European Union Intellectual Property Office".

• There are significant changes in the fees. The basic fee for the application for an EU trademark is lowered; however it will encompass only one class instead up to three classes. Fees for renewal will be decreased.

• Protection afforded to the trademark owners strengthens. Newly, the owners will be entitled to prevent the transit of counterfeit goods through the Union, even though such goods are not meant to be released for free circulation inside the EU. The directive also entitles the owner to prohibit third persons from using his trademark as a company name.

• The directive also brings stricter interpretation rules for the designation of goods and services. 

These are very exciting times in EU trademark law!  Once the new legislation is published in the Official Journal, I can provide you with more information. Do not hesitate to contact me.

Mgr. Eva Bajáková

RANDA HAVEL LEGAL 

Truhlarska 13-15 

110 00 Prague 1 

Czech Republic

T: +420 222 537 500 – 501 

F: +420 222 537 510 

Eva.Bajakova@randalegal.com

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