News story

Changes to EU Trade Marks finalised: greater clarity and certainty for UK business

Proposed changes to Community Trade Mark Regulation and creation of new Trade Mark Directive approved.


A package of proposals governing EU laws on trade marks were today approved by the European Parliament. They include changes to Community Trade Mark Regulation (CTMR) and the creation of a new Trade Mark Directive.

These reforms to the governance of EU trade marks look to modernise proceedings, increase legal certainty and sufficiently reflect rulings by European case law. The measures will bring national laws in Member States closer together and align practice on national trade marks in relation to the EU-wide trade mark.

The UK welcomes the vast majority of changes as they will make the process easier, cheaper and clearer for businesses to use.

UK Minister for IP, Baroness Neville Rolfe said:

Every business has a trade mark. It is important that businesses understand the need to register their marks to get the best protection for their brand and reputation. A reformed European trade mark system will deliver real benefits for trade mark users and the UK has been a key partner throughout negotiations.

The changes to the Directive and the Regulation should increase legal certainty and clarity for businesses looking to register and enforce their trade mark rights in Europe. The convergence of trade mark practices and processes throughout the EU will create a more robust and streamlined system fit for the digital age.

This Government has pledged to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate, patent new ideas and to set up and expand a business. In early 2016 we will be seeking the views on how we should make changes to UK laws to reflect the Directive.

Published 15 December 2015