For nearly 15 years, trademarks and brand names that have existed in the EU before January 1, 2005 were granted a temporary exemption to the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 (Article 27(2) NHCR). This means that names that imply a health claim, e.g. “Vital”, “Healthy” etc, were permitted to be used without being accompanied by a specific authorized health claim. The transition period ends on January 19, 2022.
With the end of the transition period, all companies, including those that have so far enjoyed the exemption, will need to comply with the NHCR in full. This means that all brand names and trademarks that imply a health claim will then need to be accompanied by a specific authorized health claim, or they can no longer be used.
While no particular guidance exists, these specific health claims should be relevant to the implied non-specific health claim, e.g. if the brand name implies immune health, the accompanying authorized health claim should also involve immune health. If this is not possible, because no corresponding authorized health claim exists, e.g. in the case of names including the word “probiotic”, then the name can no longer be used. This may be subject to EU Member States’ individual legislation.
The specific claim should also be located next to or following the general statement, if necessary by use of an asterisk.
Do you have questions or do you need advice on how to achieve full compliance for your brand name or trademark as the transition period ends? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!