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Action required by owners of EU trademarks
For 6 months from 23 March 2016, owners of EU trade marks (known as community trademarks or CTMs) have the opportunity to increase the protection offered by their trade mark.
If they do nothing then the protection offered by the trade mark will be dramatically reduced. After 24 September 2016, CTMs registered as covering all the goods and services listed in a class will be deemed instead only to cover goods and services in the class heading, for example class 33 covers – “Alcoholic beverages, in particular wine, sparkling wine, spirits, liqueurs” but the class heading is just “Alcoholic beverages (except beers)” – which will be of limited use to brewers!
Main points to note
- Previously CTMs could be registered as covering all the goods and services in a class. They must now be more specific.
- If you have CTMs filed before 22 June 2012 registered as covering all the goods and services in a class, you are entitled to file a declaration to clarify or increase the scope of your specification to cover more goods or services.
- You only have until 24 September 2016 to do this.
- If you do not file a declaration your CTM will be reduced to the class headings. For most this means a permanent reduction in the coverage of the trade mark.
It’s important to take specific advice on how to redraft the specification of your trade mark to ensure it still performs as intended before filing any declaration. Our intellectual property law team can advise.