Modernising trademark registration – green light from Legal Affairs MEPs

trademark registration

Provisional deal on new trademark legislation, aiming to foster economic growth by modernising trademark registration and protection rules, was backed by the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday.  The deal, reached by the Parliament and the Council negotiators on 21 April, still needs to be endorsed by the full house as well as the Member States.

The European Trademark system is one of the best examples of a European success story providing easy and effective solutions for businesses and citizens whilst reducing bureaucracy. Today we have taken an important step to further improve and modernize the protection and promotion of innovation on our continent”, said Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), who is steering the legislation through Parliament.

While preserving the dual system of national and EU trademark, the updated trademark legislation will further harmonise national and European trade mark application procedures and the rights guaranteed by a trademark. The new rules will also help to fight against counterfeit goods in transit through the EU’s territory.

The registration would also be on average cheaper, especially for SMEs, as under the new “one-class-per-fee” provision, the EU-level trademark could be registered for only one product class, instead of three classes. MEPs also managed to secure a significant reduction of renewal fees.

The informally agreed text also introduces several improvements to the structure and governance of the EU office responsible for trademarks (OHIM), which will be called “European Union Intellectual Property Office”. MEPs managed to ensure that the Parliament would also have a seat in the management board of the office.

Next steps

The provisional deal now needs to be formally approved by the Council and finally by the Parliament as a whole.

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