EU: Trademark reform package approved by the European Parliament on 15 December 2015

The reform of the EU trademark system has been ongoing since 2008 and is finally ready for publication. The updated rules aim for a more efficient and cost effective trademark registration process. The dual system of national and EU trademarks covering all 28 member states is retained, whilst national and EU trademark registration procedures are streamlined and further harmonized. The trademark reform package includes amendments to Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trademark and the adoption of a new Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks. European Parliament adopted the new laws without any amendments to the Council’s position in first reading. One of the significant changes to the Community Trademark Regulation is the new fee structure for EU trademark registration, which is supposed to make trademark protection on average cheaper, especially for SMEs. Another important aspect of the changes is providing better means to fight against counterfeit goods in transit through EU territory. The Regulation will enter into force 90 days after its publication. The new Directive will still have to be implemented by the member states. The implementation needs to be done within three years after the entry into force of the Directive, except for the implementation of the administrative invalidation and revocation procedures. For this the member states will have 7 years. For more information about the trademark reform package, please see the European Parliament Press release.