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After lengthy discussions and negotiations, on 15 December 2015, the European Parliament approved the legislative reforms affecting the Community Trade Mark Regulation and the Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks.

The new Regulation will enter into force 90 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal, which is likely to take place during the month of January 2016. With respect to the new Directive, it will enter into force the 20th day following its publication and should be transposed into national laws by EU Member States within three years. However, Member States will have seven years to implement the invalidity and revocation procedures at their Trade Mark Offices.

The most immediate practical changes will be:

  1. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market will be renamed the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
  2. CTMs will be renamed European Union Trade Marks (EUTM).
  3. The fee structure will be amended and one fee per class will have to be paid with the application or the renewal.
  4. A transitional period of six months will be opened to amend the lists of goods and services of those trade marks filed prior to the IP Translator decision (i.e. 22.06.2012) with the general headings of Nice Classification so that they may fulfil the requirement of “clarity and precision”.

As soon as these new legislative texts are published, we shall inform you of the relevant modifications introduced and shall keep you informed on any change that would affect the procedures before the corresponding Trade Mark Offices (EUIPO and SPTO).

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