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EUROPEAN UNION TRADEMARK
Registrable European Union Trademarks
In the European Union all signs capable of being graphically represented and fulfilling the requirements of distinctiveness and novelty are registrable trademarks before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) (former OHIM – Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market).
According to the EU trademark law any graphic representation can be used as a trademark. Therefore words, combinations of letters, numbers, graphic images (logos), three-dimensional forms, slogans, any combination of these elements, series of tones (acoustic trademarks) shall be registered as trademarks.
After the filing of the application for the registration of a EUTM trademark, the EUIPO conducts a first formal and technical exam, which checks that the application meets the formal requirements and the absence of the so-called absolute impediments to the registration.
Depending on the examination results, the trademark is then published in the EUTM Bulletin or refused.
Starting from the publication of the trademark on the EUTM Bulletin, a three-month opposition period begins. Therefore, according to EU trademark Regulation, owners of prior registered trademarks or trademark applications, which are identical or similar to the published one, can file opposition proceedings against such trademark within this time limit.
In case no opposition proceeding has been filed, the trademark will be registered.
The registration process takes approximately from 6 to 8 months from the filing date, assuming there are no major objections or oppositions.
Duration and Renewals
European Union Trademarks (former Community Trademarks) are valid for 10 years running from the filing date. The registration can be indefinitely renewed for subsequent 10 year periods.
Effects of the registration of a EU Trademark
A registered European Union Trademark (former Community Trademark) grants the owner the exclusive right to use a certain sign for specific goods and services in the entire European Union Members territory. At the same time, a trademark owner shall grant someone else the right to use it for a certain period. A registered European Union Trademark (former Community Trademark) grants as well the owner the chance to prevent others from using an identical or similar sign for the same or similar goods and services.