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The new October 1, 2017 European Trademark Regulations

I:  “WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU CAN GET”

European Trademark Regulations I

 

Technical progress provoked probably one of the most important changes in European Trademark Law over the last decades: the graphical representation of a trademark is no longer required.

This means that, from the start of October 2017, you are allowed to register any appropriate form using existing and future technology, provided that the representation is precise, clear, self-contained, intelligible, easily accessible, objective and durable.

In order to avoid too long an article, I’ll precise the most important changes in a few short articles, to start with some general considerations in order to well understand the “new rules”.

The most popular types of trademark are listed as follows: word; figurative; shape; position; pattern; color; sound; movement; multimedia and hologram.

“Shape” in the above-mentioned listing refers to three-dimensional marks, and the new rules distinguish a separate “pattern mark” which was considered to be a “figurative mark” before.

As the former graphic representation is disbanded in the new EU trademark regulations and the representation can thus be an electronic file today, the multimedia mark could be introduced in this new regulations.

It is defined as “a trademark consisting of, or extending to, the combination image and sound”.

No need to get anxious facing this panoply of distinctions (although you will have to make your choice when using the EUIPO’s e-filing tool), the principle is that you can register whatever you see today, provided that it can be represented in one way or another.