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Introduction to EU Trademark Registration System

Introduction to EU Trademark Registration System

Official Office for Trade Mark Registration

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

Member States

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Joined International Treaties for Trade Marks

Madrid Protocol

Principle on Trade Mark Protection

The EU adopts "first-to-file" for trademark protection, and the EU Trademark Law mainly protects the registered trademarks.

If a registered trademark is used by someone else without authorization and/or license, the trademark owner can simply take an infringement action in the court of any member states of the EU.

For un-registered marks (trade names), if it has been applied for registration in bad-faith by someone else, and cause misleading, the original mark owner can raise opposition and/or revocation against the bad-faith application/registration, but without right to bring litigation. Further, un-registered marks (trade names) are also protected by the Unfair Competition Law.

Kinds of Registrable Trade Marks

In EU, the term “trade mark?includes word mark, device mark, color mark, their combination, and non-conventional trademarks, such as smell mark, taste mark, sound mark, movement mark, color per se mark, position mark and 3D mark.

In addition, there are special trademarks are enacted and protected, such as “collective mark? “certification mark?and “guarantee mark?

Required Information and Documents

1. Applicant’s name, address, nationality / company’s registered country;
2. Specimen of the mark to be applied;
3. List of goods/services to be applied, and the class(es);
4. Translation & transliteration of foreign language in the mark; and
5. Priority document, if any.

Timeframe and Procedure for Application

If an application goes smoothly, the whole registration procedure takes about 4-6 months.The EUIPO usually takes around 1 month for examination, if there is no any refusal, the application will then publish for 3 months for opposition purpose. If no opposition is filed, an electronic registration certificate will be issued within 2 weeks after the end of publication.

Duration and Renewal of Registration

A trade mark registration in the EU is valid for 10 years from the date of application, which can be renewed every 10 years, from 6 months before the renewal due date or up to 6 months after the date expires.

Cancellation System

If a registered trademark has not been actual used in the EU by the owner or with his consent, in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered, for a continuous period of at least 5 years, and there are no valid reasons for non-use, any third party can apply for revocation to cancel/remove the registration.

Relevant Information

EU Trademark Registration Costs and Procedures

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