Previously, a logo or design trademark that was registered as community trade marks (CTM) in the European Union (EU) in black and white protected versions of the logo in any color, but this is no longer true. Under a new CTM rule effective July 15, 2014, logo trademarks filed in black and white or grey will not necessarily protect the same mark used predominantly in color. This new approach, one of several changes resulting from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) Convergence Programme, should inform both filing and enforcement strategies. This article explains the rule change and provides recommendations to optimize logo and other color trademark protection in the EU.
Why the change?