Multimedia trademarks open up entirely new possibilities


Changes to the EU’s trademark regulations entered into force on 1 October 2017, recognising for the first time multimedia marks combining image and sound. They may consist for example of animations launched in mobile devices or apps, jingles from film studios, brief video clips, and so on.

Multimedia trademarks can now be filed in the form of an MP4 file of up to 20 MB.

Before October 2017 there was a mandatory requirement of graphic presentation for trademark filings, which caused obvious problems in the case of non-traditional marks of various sorts, such as audio or animated marks, discouraging businesses from trying to register them.

Enabling marks to be presented in electronic form represents a new openness on the part of the European Union Intellectual Property Office to a changing reality and will no doubt lead to an increase in the number of trademarks in the multimedia area.

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 enterprise from the goods and services of others. So not every audiovisual element can function as a trademark. The sorts of marks winning registration will be revealed by the practice of the EUIPO.

Anna Pompe, adwokat, Intellectual Property practice, Wardyński & Partners

This text appeared in the newtech.law blog.