Enlargement of the European Union in 2007

5 January 2007

The present communication refers to the main consequences of enlargement on both the CTM and CD systems, as well as the additional preparations made by the Office to cope with this new enlargement round.

I. Two new Member States

On 1st January 2007, the European Union will be enlarged for the sixth time since the establishment of the European Community in 1957. The Treaty of Accession was signed with Bulgaria and Romania on 25 April 2005.
This event follows the accession of ten Member States in May 2004, a challenge which the Office successfully met while bringing enhanced benefits to users of the Community Trade Mark and Design systems with the minimal of disruption.

II. Consequences for holders of Community trade marks and Community designs

The results of the negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania as regards the Community Trade Mark and Designs systems are the same as the ones agreed with the ten Member States which joined in May 2004, notably the automatic extension of CTMs and CDs and the grandfathering of earlier rights.
In particular, the exceptional right of opposition will also exist on this occasion; CTM applications filed between 1st July 2006 and 31 December 2006 can be subject to oppositions based on earlier rights in the new Member States, pursuant to Article 159a(3) CTMR.


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