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EU trade mark reform

A number of reforms to the European Union trade mark system came into force on 1 October 2017. All the changes are outlined in an EUIPO document available here.

The requirement for a trade mark to be capable of graphical representation has been replaced with a requirement for it to be identified with clarity and precision. This change is intended to make it easier to register unconventional trade marks, such as motion marks or holograms, which may have been difficult to register under the previous requirement.

It is now possible to register European Union Certification Marks. These are marks that identify goods or services as being certified by the owner of the trade mark (an example of this type of trade mark includes the Kite Mark).

The reforms also include a number of procedural changes, including that priority claims must now be made at the time of filing and simplification of the procedure for substantiating earlier rights in opposition.

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