EUIPO announced that it is preparing for the Second phase of legislative changes which will start as of 1 October 2017

EUTMAccording to the announcement of the office:

“On 23 March 2016, the first wave of changes brought about by the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 (the Amending Regulation) came into force. However, some parts of the Amending Regulation will only apply from 1 October 2017.

Additionally, the Amending Regulation also provides that the European Commission will pass secondary legislation to further develop its provisions. This will be done by means of two separate acts, a Delegated act and an Implementing act which will both apply from 1 October 2017.

On 1 October, the graphical representation requirement for EUTMs will be removed. From that date, EUTMs can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective. Ahead of the entry into force of this change, the Office ce will provide users with information on the various media and formats that are considered to comply with the new provision.

On 1 October 2017, a new type of intellectual property right at EU level will be introduced – the EU certification mark. Certification marks already exist in some national systems and are used to allow a certifying institution or organisation to permit adherents to the certification system to use the mark as a sign that goods or services comply with the certification requirements. A certification mark will cost EU 1 800, or EUR 1 500 if applied for online.

Other changes also include: priority claims will have to be led together with an application, not subsequently; new streamlined and modern procedural rules in oppositions, cancellations and appeals including substantiation online and rules on belated evidence; the possibility of assigning to the proprietor an EUTM registered without justification in the name of an agent; a codification of the existing practice of suspending surrenders of an EUTM that are made while a revocation action is pending.

Further, horizontal changes include: a single provision on suspensions applicable to all proceedings; new rules on means of communication; simplified translation requirements; rules on how annexes to submissions must be structured; a new time limit for revocation of decisions and entries in the Register; continuation of proceedings will applicable to deadlines previously excluded (in particular in opposition proceedings) as well as other changes.

On 2 May, the Office will publish its draft Guidelines. They take account of the second phase of the legislative changes for comments from users, with a definitive set of Guidelines to be published on 1 October.”