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Something’s changing with Trademarks: Part 2

In 2014, Ourania Vrondou, Christodoulos G. Vassiliades &Co LLC, discussed the Regulation on the European Trademark Law. Two years later, she’s back to depict updates on the law and what this means for jurisdictions worldwide.

The Article made front page on the Trademark Lawyer Website Follow this link

The Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 on the European Trademark Law (The “Regulation”) and Directive (EU) 2015/2436 on the Directive on the approximation of law of the Member States relating to trademarks (the “Directive”) were published on the 16th of December and will come into force on the 23rd of March 2016.

Although the substance of both texts remains the same, there have been a number of additions worth mentioning.

Regarding the Regulation there has been an introduction of a single-class application system enabling SMEs to enter the European Trademark arena, which up until recently was unapproachable. Further, it is accompanied by financial advantages as well. In addition, it provides for an extension on the absolute grounds of protection, since it has now become clear that geographical indications and designations of original will constitute an obstacle to any trademark application that threatens their status. However, the freedom of expression is safeguarded, since trademark owners will not have the right to restrict the use of their trademark for the purpose of artistic expression so long as it is considered as fair and in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters.

As far as the Directive is concerned, the text is much the same as the one of the Regulation, though it has a more dynamic impact on the trademark laws of the member states. The Directive, among other things, allows trademark owners to demand that reference to the mark is accompanied with an indication that such mark is protected by trademark registration.

Both the Regulation and the Directive constitute a promising ally to the fight against counterfeits and provide for important safeguards against manipulation of such provisions by trademark owners for the purpose of eliminating competition.

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