The European Union trade mark system consists of one single registration procedure that gives its owner an exclusive right in the 28 Member States of the European Union. You will find below the most frequent questions we receive from our customers, hopefully the answers will help you too.
What is the difference between a European Trademark and a National one?
A national trade mark gives protection only in the Member State in which it has been registered, while an EU trade mark gives its owner an exclusive right in all current and future EU Member States.
It is entirely up to the applicants whether they want to obtain national, regional, EU-wide or international registration of their trade mark.
Who can be the holder of a European Trademark?
Any natural or legal person, including authorities established under public law, can be the proprietor of an EUTM.
Can I use my trade mark before it is accepted for registration?
Yes, a trade mark may be used at any stage, even before filing the application. However, this use does not guarantee the registration of the trade mark.
Do I have to use ® or TM to show that my EU trade mark is registered?
No, there is no legal basis that makes such use compulsory. However, the proprietor of the trade mark may freely choose to use them.
How long is an EU trade mark valid?
An EU trade mark registration lasts for 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely.
What is a classification?
Every EUTM application must contain a list of goods and services as a condition for a filing date to be accorded. The list must be classified in accordance with the Nice Agreement. The Nice Classification assigns goods to Classes 1 to 34, and services to Classes 35 to 45. Each class is represented by a class heading, which gives general information about the type of goods or services covered.
It is very important to apply for the classes of goods and services aligned with your business because it will have a direct influence on how protected your EU trade mark is.
Can I register my company name and/or logo as an EUTM?
Yes, any sign that fulfills the requirements of the EU trade mark regulation can be registered as a trade mark. By registering your company name and/or logo you would obtain better protection of your brand and reputation. The registration allows you to prevent third parties from using or registering trade marks that are the same or confusingly similar to those of your business.
What kind of signs may be registered as an EU trade mark?
An EU trade mark may consist of any sign, in particular words, including personal names, or designs, letters, numerals, colours, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds, provided that such signs are capable of: distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, and being represented in a manner that enables the competent authorities and the public to determine the subject matter of protection with clarity and precision.
The representation of the signs must be in a form that uses generally available technology that can be reproduced on the register in a clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner. The European Union trade mark implementing regulation (EUTMIR) lays down specific rules and requirements for the most common types of trade marks.
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