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Article 28 declarations: a 6 month window to secure the scope of trade mark protection

23 March 2016

Today a six month one-off window (until 24 September 2016) opens which allows owners of registered Community Trade Marks ‘CTMs’ or international registrations designating the EU filed or designated prior to 22 June 2012, to secure the intended scope of the trade mark (for free) by identifying with sufficient clarity and precision the additional goods/services to be covered which are not covered by the literal meaning of the class headings used in their registration specifications.

Article 28 of the new EU Trade Mark Regulation is designed to narrow the interpretation of class headings and with it the scope of the monopoly claimed by a CTM using such terms.

Going forward trade marks will no longer be able to provide a broad scope of protection for all goods or services encompassed by a class by simply using class headings in their specification. If such class headings are used the protection provided will be limited to only such goods or services which fall within the literal meaning of the class heading used.

Although it is not a compulsory requirement, trade mark owners should consider that failure to make a declaration by the deadline may result in the scope of protection provided by a trade mark being substantially narrower than that which the owner may have believed they had secured when the mark was registered.

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