Intellectual Property Flash News No. 1/2016

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News regarding the EU Trademark Package

Regulation (EU) No 2015/2424 amending the Community trade mark regulation (CE) No 207/2009 has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 24, 2015 and entered into force on March 23, 2016.

From that day, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market is called the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the Community trademark is called the European Union trade mark.

Other changes include:
• Changes in the fees applied by the Office for registrations, renewals and certain administrative procedures (i.e. oppositions / appeals), which were slightly decreased
• Changes in the examination of applications on absolute grounds, among others, specifically elimintating the possibility of filing a disclaimer by the applicants and expressly stating the Office’s right to re-open examination on its own any time before registration
• Regulating the time period in which third parties may object on absolute grounds to pending applications, either before the end of the opposition period or, where an opposition was lodged, before a final decision is rendered
• Changes regarding the time frame for calculating the term for filing oppositions against International Registrations designating the EU, by moving the start date to one month as of the date of publication
• Introducing the possibility of invoking Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications as grounds for oppositions / cancellations
• Changes regarding the date for calculating the relevant time – frame for proofs of use in administrative proceedings, as of the date of filing/prioriy, instead of the date of publication of the contested mark
• Codifying the practice in what regards trademark applications filed after June 21, 2012 (after the “IP Translator” Judgement) and extending the practice also to trademarks filed before said judgement and offering a 6-moth transitory period (until September 24, 2016) for amending the goods/services classifications in order to reflect the applicant’s intentions

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