As from yesterday, 1 October 2017, the graphical representation requirement no longer applies when submitting an EU Trade Mark (EUTM) application before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This means that now signs can be represented in any appropriate form using generally available technology, as long as the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective. Is it for example possible to apply for a trademark registration by submitting an MP4 file of a movie sequence, a song or any other multimedia piece. The result is a ‘what you see is what you get’ system, which seeks to make the the EUTM Register more accessible and clear. The underlaying ambition is to increase legal certainty for users and reduce the objection rate for formality objections. However, all trademarks still must meet the requirement of distinctive character, i.e. the essentials that transforms a brand to a trademark.
It will for sure be interesting to follow the Swedish Patent och registreringsverket (PRV) in their official evaluation between trademark applications and older registrations as we soon face a reality when a movie sequence could be compared to an application for a regular word mark. It will also be interesting from a practical perspective how trademarks registered in new formats will be searchable when making trademark searches.
Time is a leading law firm within Intellectual Property and Media. If you have any other questions within these areas, such as protection, invalidity actions and/or infringements of IP, please contact our Head of Intellectual Property, Fredrik Ståhl on email@example.com, phone: +46 70 149 25 69 or Emelie Fyhrqvist on firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: + 46 70 092 84 05.