Posted on Monday 2 October 2017 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

Following publication of the Trade Mark Reform Legislative package back in 2015, changes arose which saw the Community Trademark (CTM) renamed to European Union Trademark (EUTM) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) become the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). From October 1st, 2017, further changes to the application of EU Trade Marks will take effect. These reforms will modernise European Union trade mark law and will ensure greater harmonisation in trade mark practice and procedures across the EU.

So, what are these changes?

Graphical Representation Requirement no longer needed.

It will be easier to register non-traditional trademarks as the requirement to represent a mark ‘graphically’ will no longer apply come the 1st of October.It appears quite a significant change, affording trade mark applicants the option to apply for marks which protect sound, colour, shapes and movement more easily. This change will be possible once the mark is represented in a clear, precise accessible and intelligible manner. For example, MP3 and MP4 formats will be allowed in relation to sound and other media.

Such changes align with what EUIPO terms a ‘What you see is what you get’ system

Introduction of EU Certification Mark.

Certification mark will be introduced as a new type of trade mark at EU level. Certifying institutions will be able to permit adherents to the certification system to use the mark as a sign for goods or services complying with applicable certification requirements.

While this mark is already available in certain European countries, these changes remedy the current inconsistency between national systems and the EU trade mark system

Procedural Changes

Various procedural changes will also come into effect. Including changes to Priority claims which can now be claimed at the time of filing a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) application or within a two-month period thereafter. Other such changes involve opposition and cancellation proceedings, acquired distinctiveness, language and translations, and communications with the office.



Brand owners should review their trade mark portfolios and filing practices to ensure that these are updated to be in line with these new reforms. If you would like to speak with one of trusted Trade Mark Attorneys please contact us at and we would be happy to schedule a meeting and discuss this further.