Does use of a trade mark within the UK constitute valid use within the EU to evidence enhanced distinctiveness of an EU trade mark?
The judgement of the Shopify vs Shoppi case has important implications for UK trade mark owners.
The European Commission recently announced plans to update the system of Community trade mark protection. The proposed changes aim to make the EU trade mark system more accessible by reducing the cost and complexity of the system.
Under the Community trade mark system, applicants may make a single application and obtain a single registration which has effect across the European Community. The system has been in place for 15 years. During this time, there have been no major modifications to the relevant laws. However, the business environment has changed significantly. The proposed modernisation aims to bring the Community trade mark system up to date with the current requirements of the users.
The key proposals include:
The proposals also include a number of changes to frequently used terminology. The term “Community Trade Mark” (CTM) will be changed to “European Trade Mark” (ETM). Also, the office responsible for dealing with Community trade marks will change its name from the “Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market” (OHIM) to the “European Union Trade Marks and Designs Agency” (EUTMDA).
These proposals, if accepted, are expected to be implemented by spring 2014. EU countries will then have two years to transpose the new rules into their national laws. A notable exception is the change to the amount of application and renewal fees. The new fees are expected to be adopted before the end of 2013.
If you have any questions about the current UK or Community trade mark registration procedure or would like to discuss how these proposed changes might affect you, please do not hesitate to contact Wilson Gunn.