After two years of inter-institutional discussions, the EU Commission, the European Parliament and the Council have reached yesterday in so-called “trilogue discussions” provisional political agreement on the trade mark reform package. The agreed measures will make trade mark registration systems all over the EU more accessible and efficient for businesses in terms of lower costs, increased speed, more predictability and greater legal certainty. The reform will improve conditions for businesses to innovate and to benefit from more effective trade mark protection against counterfeits, including non-authentic goods in transit through the EU’s territory.
The cornerstones of the trade mark reform are:
– Significant reductions of the fees for European Union trade marks covering all 28 Member States. The agreed changes will lead to savings of up to 37%, in particular for businesses that seek protection of their registered European Union trade marks beyond an initial period of 10 years;
– Streamlined, more efficient and harmonised registration procedures across all trade mark offices in the EU. Faster and less burdensome procedures will be a great improvement for successfully growing companies, mainly SMEs, which roll out their business beyond one Member State and seek trade mark protection in front of multiple national administrations;
– Strengthened means to fight against counterfeits in particular of goods in transit through the EU’s territory. This will prevent abuse of the EU as a distribution hub for illegal fake goods to world-wide destinations;
– Modernised rules and increased legal certainty by adapting trade mark rules to the modern business environment and clarifying trade mark rights and their limitations.
The political agreement on the Trade Mark reform package reached by the three institutions in the so-called “trilogue discussions” still requires to be formally confirmed by the European Parliament and the Council, which is expected in the coming weeks.