On Monday, January 14, 2019, changes to the UK Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Trade Marks Rules 2008 came into effect. These changes implement the EU Trade Mark Directive 2015 in the UK.
Monday was the deadline for EU member states to comply with a number of requirements of the EU Trade Mark Directives contained in Article 54 although members still have till January 2023 to comply with Article 45 (procedure for revocation or declaration of invalidity).
The UK Intellectual Property Office previously provided some guidance on its website setting out the changes in detail. It states:
“This guidance covers changes to the Trade Marks Act 1994 (TMA), and the Trade Marks Rules 2008 (TMR). It gives a general overview of the changes most likely to impact on business, and which will come into effect on 14 January 2019, but it is not a substitute for legal advice on specific issues.
These changes have been made by the Trade Marks Regulations 2018 (TM Regs). These were originally published in draft as part of a consultation in February 2018. Following on from comments received, certain aspects of the TM Regs were amended to produce the final version. They give effect to the EU Trade Mark Directive 2015.
The guidance includes references to the relevant section or schedule of the Trade Marks Act (TMA) or rule of the Trade Marks Rules (TMR), and to the regulation in the TM Regs which introduces the change. An unofficial version of the TMA has been produced to show the changes. The unofficial version of the TMR will be updated in January, once the changes have come into force.
The main changes covered in this note fall within the following broad headings:
- applying for a trade mark
- objecting, challenging and resolving trade mark disputes
- managing trade marks.