Changes regarding EU trademarks entered into force on 1 October 2017.
Multimedia marks combine image and sound, and can be for example animations launched on mobile devices or apps, film studio jingles, brief video clips, and so on.
Now filings can be made to register multimedia trademarks in the form of an MP4 file of up to 20 MB.
Prior to 1 October 2017, the mandatory form for filings for registration of trademarks was graphic presentation, which caused obvious problems in the case of any unconventional marks such as audio or animated marks. This discouraged businesses from trying to register them.
The new possibility of filing marks in electronic form represents a more open approach on the part of the European Union Intellectual Property Office to the changing reality and will no doubt lead to an increase in the number of multimedia trademarks.
The technical possibilities created for filing multimedia marks offer huge opportunities, particularly to businesses in the IT, music, film and marketing industries.
It should be borne in mind, however, that as in the case of traditional marks, multimedia marks are eligible for registration only if they distinguish the goods and services of one undertaking from the goods and services of others. So not every audiovisual element can function as a trademark. Only the practice adopted by the EUIPO will show what kinds of marks are registered.