The European Union legislature adopted the revised text of the basic legislation, which is governing trademarks across the European Union. The new Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2424, amending Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark, entered into force on March 23, 2016 and introduced the following key changes to the EU trademark system:

  • The Community trademark (CTM) is now called the European Union trademark (EU TM).

  • The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is now called the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). 

  • The requirement for the marks to be represented graphically is deliberately removed in order to give space for registration of non-traditional signs, such as sound marks and motion marks.

  • The holder of the EU trademark has the right to prevent the transit of goods through the EU, even if these goods are not intended for the EU market.

  • The Regulation includes new provisions relating to certification marks.

  • The EUIPO adopted the ‘means what it says’ approach according to which the scope of protection is interpreted by the literal meaning of the words used in the specification. The new legislation therefore reflects the principles set out by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the IP Translator Case.

  • The new Regulation introduced a ‘one-class-per-fee’ structure and significantly reduced renewal fees.

The text of the new Regulation can be found here, and the text of the IP Translator judgment can be found here.