The European Parliament implemented Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2424 amending the Community trade mark regulation on 15 December 2015, which will enter into force on 23 March 2016. Thereafter, the Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM) will be called the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Community trade mark will be called the European Union trade mark.
This reform also introduces various other amendments such as the reduction of renewal fees, the seizure of counterfeit goods in transit in the European Union, as well as a change in requirements for the filing of non-traditional trade marks, for example sounds and smells. An important change to take note of is in respect of trade mark class headings because provision has now been made for owners of Community trade marks filed between 1996 and 22 June 2012 which were registered for class headings to have a six-month period during which they can clarify the specific goods within the class for which protection is sought. No longer can a trademark claim protection for class headings and be considered to be protected for all the goods/services included in the alphabetical list of that class. The reform now requires applicants to be more clear and concise in as regards the goods/services for which protection is sought.
If you have a Community trade mark and are unsure whether this affects you contact our trade mark department who will be able to evaluate whether and how you need to proceed with the clarification of goods.