Directive 2015/2436
European Union directive
TitleTrade Mark Directive 2015
Made byCouncil
Made underArticle 100a
Date made2015
Other legislation
Amended bysee text
Current legislation

The Trade Marks Directive 2015 (2015/2436) harmonises trade mark rights in European Union law.


Council Directive No. 89/104/EEC, "to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks", was introduced into European Union law on 21 December 1988.[1] Its provisions were required to be introduced into national law by 29 December 1991. On this date, the Directive therefore became law with direct effect in each of the member states of the European Union. It was repealed in 2008 by EU Directive 2008/95/EC, which in turn was recast by Directive 2015/2436.

In the UK the Directive was transposed into domestic law by The Trade Marks Regulations 2018 which amended the Trade Marks Act 1994.[2]


The Directive was intended to approximate the laws of the Member States of the European Union which relate to trade marks and to harmonise disparities in the respective trade mark laws which had the potential to impede the free movement of goods and provision of services, or to distort competition within the European Union. The Directive provided a framework of minimum provisions applicable throughout the European Union but did not seek to impose onerous obligations on national trademark registries. For example, the Directive did not stipulate how member states should deal with the registration, revocation and invalidity of trademarks. These elements were left to the national bodies' discretion.

Grounds for refusal or invalidity

The Directive stipulates that signs cannot be registered if they are:

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2023)

See also


  1. ^ L40, 11 December 1989, pp. 1–7
  2. ^ UK Legislation, Trade Marks Act 1994