Reforms to the Community Trade Mark (CTM) system were adopted by the European Parliament in December 2015, and several changes to the law will take effect next week, on 23 March 2016.

Summary of action points for brand owners


  • For those considering CTM applications in three classes or over, it will be advisable to file before 23 March 2016 to take advantage of the current fee structure.
  • Undertake trade mark portfolio review to determine whether Article 28 declarations/partial surrenders are required, or existing protection offered by class specification is adequate.
  • Brand owners (luxury brands, FMCGs, etc) having issues with counterfeits to consider EU customs registrations.


  • Brand owners seeking protection for distinctive “non-traditional” intangible assets (for instance, instantly recognisable sound/tune used in ad jingles (FMCG) or phones (tech)) to consider applying for protection (change from September 2017).

Read More


Joel Smith
Joel Smith
Partner, London
+44 20 7466 2331
Sarah Burke
Sarah Burke
Associate, London
+44 20 7466 2476