Changes in the world of trademarks in 2018

02 January 2018

The world of trademarks is changing. One of the biggest changes is that trademark protection is becoming increasingly specific. With registers filling up to capacity, trademark rights are awarded less easily and their scope is restricted to precisely dedicated specifications. Basically, ‘what you see is what you get’. The scope of trademark protection is restricted to what is actually registered.

  1. For instance, the identification of goods and services for new applications requires more specification than before. Previously, registrations allowed room for future plans and unforeseen changes. As a result, obtaining trademark protection for future products and services has become more difficult. Innovative industries in particular may be affected by this, and will have to adjust their trademark protection strategies. A much greater group of businesses will find it much more complex to address future brand extension.
  2. It has also become much more difficult to successfully obtain a registration for a descriptive trademark even if the mark is filed as a logo, in combination with an image. And even if you succeed, actual protection is limited.
  3. The scope of protection of black and white trademark registrations is also being restricted. Where a trademark that was registered in black and white used to cover all colour schemes, colours are now excluded from protection. In order to obtain protection for colours or the coloured version(s) of your logo, a separate registration of the trademark in colour must be filed.

These developments require more extensive monitoring of your trademark registrations. Smart choices during the registration process, combined with a sound follow-up are becoming increasingly important. Seek sound advice and have your attorneys audit your trademarks on a regular basis, so you can rest assured that your interests are fully protected.

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