A CTM, more formally known as a Community Trademark, is a mark that has been registered with the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). By obtaining a registration with OHIM, your intellectual property rights will be valid across all 27 EU member states – ensuring your mark cannot be used by a third party or competitor operating within Europe. If you are an intellectual property owner seeking to register your mark as a CTM, it is advised to enlist the services of a professional consultancy firm to guide you through the registration process with OHIM.
Advantages of a CTM
As mentioned, a mark adopts the title ‘CTM’ after if it registered with OHIM. Although marks can be registered with a member states national intellectual property registry office, it is advised to obtain registration though OHIM where you seek trademark rights in a number of EU member states. For companies using their mark to create their brand identity or to represent a product or service within the EU, they are advised to register a CTM to ensure their rights are protected in every member state. This is particularly useful where the company plans to expand their presence across Europe in the near or distant future.
Registering a mark through OHIM will provide the owner of the intellectual property with a number of benefits, some of which include,
- Registration of a CTM ensures the owner has rights over the use of the mark across all 27 EU member states.
- The application process requires only a single application despite being registered and legally recognized with 27 member state intellectual property registries.
- OHIM provides an online database of all marks registered as a CTM, enabling you to conduct your search prior to application, a timely and efficient manner.
- The renewal of your trademark rights through OHIM is administered with a single renewal application form up to 6 months prior to expiry of your rights.
- The legal protection given to owners of a CTM is high, with effective legislation in place to provide owners with remedies in cases of infringement or passing off.
- All marks registered with OHIM enjoy the high standards, rights and benefits as provided under European Community (EC) Law.
- Registered CTM owner are issued with a registration certificate from OHIM and will acquire a set of exclusive rights over the use of the mark throughout the EU, therefore preventing any third party from using it.
The process of registering a European trademark can be made significantly easier by enlisting the specialist services of a professional consultancy firm or trademark attorney. By obtaining advice and guidance on how to complete the registration process in line with the standards and requirements as stipulated by OHIM, you can ensure you obtain your rights in a timely and professional manner.
To find out how Starting Business can assist you with your community trademark registration, see our EU Trademark services page.