On 23 March 2016, Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and the Council amending the Community trade mark regulation (the Amending Regulation) entered into force.
Among other things, the Amending Regulation changed: the name of the Office to the European Union Intellectual Property Office; the name of the trade mark administered by the Office to the European Union trade mark; and the fee system for trade marks. There were also changes to examination proceedings, absolute grounds, opposition and cancellation, relative grounds and appeals. An overview of the changes can be found here.
The Amending Regulation contains a number of provisions that will apply as and from 1 October 2017, as they had to be developed by secondary legislation.
The secondary legislation consists of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/625 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 and the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/626 laying down detailed rules for implementing certain provisions of Regulation (EU) 2017/1001.
The secondary legislation contains detailed transitional provisions that set out when the new procedural rules apply to proceedings (Transitional Provisions table).
The legislative reform process acknowledges the success of the EUTM system, confirming that its main principles have stood the test of time and continue to meet business needs and expectations. However, it seeks to build on this success by making it more efficient and consistent as a whole and adapting it to the internet era.
The Amending Regulation, in particular, seeks to streamline proceedings and increase legal certainty, as well as to clearly define all the tasks of the Office, including the framework for cooperation and convergence of practices between the Office and the intellectual property offices of the Member States.