IN 150 COUNTRIES
EU trademark registration
EU trademark registration gives you protection in all EU countries (currently 28). You can apply for trademark registration in European Union at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which is located in Alicante, Spain.
How to register a trademark in the European Union
Application for a trademark registration in EU is proportionally cheaper than for a national trademark, and so can be an attractive option if you are active in a large part of the EU. Also you can go through EU trademark registration online.
EU trademark benefits:
- protection of the uniqueness of the trademark
- a single process of trademark registration in European Union
- the trademark is protected by all EU countries
- a single registration center
- very simple procedure
- no national registration required
- the possibility of registering an unlimited number of trademarks
In order to be able to constitute a European Union trademark, the sign in question must have a distinctive character, not be exclusively composed of elements that can be used to designate the characteristics of the product or service (descriptive signs), not be exclusively composed usual signs or indications, nor be exclusively constituted by the form imposed by the nature of the product.
The EUTM may be presented in any suitable form using publicly available technology, provided that it can be reproduced in the registry in a clear, precise, understandable, objective manner to enable competent authorities and the public to accurately determine the subject of protection. To register a form, you must provide a graphical reproduction of the form, including computer-generated images, or a photographic reproduction.
To register a sound, an audio file that reproduces the sound or a musical notation must be presented.
To register a color, a reproduction of the color and an indication of this color with reference to a generally recognized code should be submitted.
How do you trademark a name in the EU?
There are two main conditions that any EU trademark must meet: to be a new, previously unused sign to distinguish the goods of one company from another, and to be able to be presented in graphic form.
The customs authorities of the European Union maintain strict control over counterfeit brands when goods pass customs control. This administrative customs procedure helps to reduce the passage of illegal goods and protect owners from unauthorized use of their trademarks.
EU trademark registration process
What countries are covered by an EU trademark registration? An EU trademark gives you simultaneous protection in all states of the European Union (currently 28). The filing of a trademark for registration as an EU trademark is carried out with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), established in Alicante (Spain).
Choosing a brand name is a step but it is also important to know how to protect it. If your trademark is already registered in one of the european contries, this allows you to benefit from a priority right. It is also possible to protect your trademark abroad by filing an international trademark registration.
We speak of “community trademark” to talk about a registered trademark throughout the territory of the European Union. The European trademark registration process is done directly with the Internal Market Harmonization Office (EUIPO), on the organization's website. Once registered, the trademark is protected in all EU member countries for a period of 10 years. After this period, you will have to think about renewing the protection of your trademark.
Before moving on to the practical details, let's take a look at the changes that came into effect on October 1, 2017 in this area:
EU trademark registration requirements for a graphical representation is no longer mandatory. Thus, the trademark can be filed in any form;
The emergence of a new type of mark: EU certification marks, which aim to ensure that products meet a number of standards;
New procedures aimed at simplifying the certification procedures, with in particular online certification and the possibility of transmitting and consulting proof online.
EU trademark registration timeline
The application is submitted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and must contain:
- an application containing the applicant's data;
- a list of goods and services for which the trademark is claimed;
- trademark image.
A single fee is charged for filing an application, the amount of which may vary depending on the number of specified classes of goods and services.
It should be noted that the applicant is entitled to priority within 6 months after filing an application for registration of an identical trademark in any country party to the Paris Convention.
The search is carried out by the EUIPO after the application is assigned a filing date. The search is necessary to identify trademarks already registered or filed for registration, which may further interfere with the registration of the claimed trademark.
It should be noted that the applicant can receive not only the main search report, but also reports from the central industrial property offices of the Member States of the Union. In this case, you need to specify the reports of which countries are needed and pay the appropriate fee for each selected country. Search reports are provided within 2 months from the date of application.
Publication of the application
If the application meets all the requirements, the EUIPO publishes the application.
Within 3 months after the publication of the application, third parties have the right to file an objection to the registration of a trademark.
If within 3 months from the date of publication no objections were filed or objections were contested, then the mark is published in the official bulletin and an electronic version of the certificate of registration of the mark is sent to the applicant/representative of the applicant. A paper version of a certified or uncertified copy of the original registration certificate can be issued upon request.
If you have any additional questions or need more EU trademark registration information, please contact us in any way convenient for you.
To apply for a grant, you will need a minimum of documents:
- Certificate of registration of a VAT payer.
- Information about the bank account number.
- The company must not be in the process of bankruptcy or liquidation.
If your company / business activity meets the above criteria, you should seriously consider registering a trademark or design right now.
Do not underestimate the protection of such intellectual property as design. It is an important business asset for companies of all sizes.
Research by the EU's specialized intellectual property body says that SMEs that own design copyrights have 17% more income per worker than businesses that do not own any intellectual property rights.
EU trademark registration renewal
What is the time period for renewal of trademark? The European Union Trademark is registered for a period of 10 years from its filing date. It can be indefinitely renewed every 10 years. The fee for renewal of the EU trademark in one class of goods and services is 850 euros. For the second class, an additional discount of 50 euros is required, and for the third and each subsequent class - 150 euros.
When to renew? It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the renewal deadline for your trademark. However, usually six months before the expiry of the registration, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) informs you or your representative that your mark needs to be renewed. Any other person who holds a right in your EU trade mark, for example a licensee, will also be informed by the Office.
The renewal application must be submitted and the renewal fee paid during the six months preceding the expiry date of your mark. You can submit the form until the registration expires.
If you missed the deadline, but want to renew your trademark, you can still do so for six months after the expiration date. In this case, a 25% surcharge applies.
Obtaining a protected trademark in the European Union is essential for a successful brand defense strategy. Since its introduction in 1996, the EU trademark system has become one of the most important tools available to companies and individuals wishing to effectively protect their trade mark rights in Europe.
The registration of the European Union trademark confers on its holder a right of ownership over it. This right allows its holder to prohibit the use of the sign or a similar sign for products identical or similar to those designated in the registration and this throughout the community.
Moreover, when the sign and the goods or services designated are identical, the existence of a likelihood of confusion is not required (the likelihood of confusion is required only in the presence of similarities between the signs).
In conclusion, there are many ways to protect your brand internationally, whether in the European Union or beyond. Your industrial property attorney is at your disposal to guide you in these choices.