EU Intellectual Property Office opens for business

On March 22 2016 the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market closed its doors for system upgrades, reopening the next day as the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The closure was undertaken to allow time for staff to install the necessary system upgrades to adapt the website and its online application tools in light of the requirements of EU Regulation 2015/2424. Alongside a new name, a ‘one class per fee’ structure was introduced for EU trademarks (previously Community trademarks), with reductions in renewal fees coming into effect.

A key area of harmonisation relates to goods and services, and the adaptation of the classification system to comply with the IP TRANSLATOR decision and the Nice system. The amending regulation codifies the existing practice for trademarks filed after the judgment and extends it to trademarks filed before the judgment was issued, giving their owners a transitional six-month period to adjust the specification of their marks to their original intention when they filed them. The onus now falls on rights holders to identify “with sufficient clarity and precision” the goods and services for which protection is sought.

The office’s e-business applications, fee calculators and online tools have been updated and are updated at the EUIPO website, accessible at euipo.europa.eu.

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