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Press Release

Jean-Claude Darné
Manager, Communications

Laura Heery
Coordinator, Communications

  EU Trademark Reform Finally Adopted

New York, New York – December 15, 2015 – Today, the European Parliament adopted at second reading the Council of the European Union’s position on the revised European Union Trade Mark Regulation and the recast Trade Marks Directive. After almost three years of inter-institutional debate, this was the final legislative step needed at the EU-level to adopt the trademark reform.

The texts on the Regulation and the Directive were adopted in plenary by a majority of EU parliamentarians despite rejection by some members of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (Eurosceptics), the European Conservatives and Reformists, the Europe of Nations and Freedom (a far-right group) and the Greens/European Free Alliance.

Following this vote, the legal texts will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It is anticipated that the Regulation will enter into force 90 days after publication, probably in early April 2016. Member States will have up to three years to implement the Directive into their national legislatures and up to seven years to introduce administrative cancellation proceedings.

The International Trademark Association (INTA) welcomes the adoption of the EU trademark reform as a significant step toward a more harmonized and modern trademark system. The reform will provide tools to businesses to register, protect and enforce their trademark rights.

For instance, the reform will:
  • Reduce renewal fees for EU trademarks by up to 37 percent;
  • Allow trademark owners to seize counterfeit goods transiting through the EU;
  • Harmonize certain aspects of substantive and procedural law. This includes new office-based opposition and cancellation actions and protection of trademarks with a reputation in all EU Member States;
  • Harmonize rules of classification of goods and services and allow International Registrations designating the EU to be processed much more quickly;
  • Open the door to the registration of more types of nontraditional trademarks (such as sounds, smells and tastes) by removing the requirement that a trademark be capable of graphic representation;
  • Provide new governance rules for the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), to be renamed the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO); and
  • Create a new framework for cooperation between the EUIPO and national trademark offices in Member States for greater convergence of practices and standards.
You can find more information on the content of the reform and INTA’s actions online and in the various articles on the EU trademark reform in the INTA Bulletin, the Association’s bi-weekly newsletter.

INTA’s work does not end with the conclusion of the EU legislative process. INTA will continue to follow all developments and closely monitor the implementation of the reform as it enters into force.

About INTA
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is the global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,700 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and New Delhi.

INTA is an Observer organization on OHIM’s Administrative Board and Budget Committee.