The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, more commonly known by its abbreviation OHIM, is the official intellectual property registry for the issuing of trademark rights across the European Union. Registering your trademark as a CTM (community trademark) through OHIM can be complex, so it is advised to seek the assistance of a professional consultancy firm to guide you through the complete registration process.
Features and Scope of OHIM
OHIM is the trademark and designs registry for the European Union. One of the most advantageous aspects of OHIM is that a trademark owner can obtain rights over their intellectual property in every EU member state by filing a single application form for registration and renewal.
A principle focus of OHIM is to review trademark registration applications and decide whether to approve or reject the application. The registry will conduct a trademark search once an application has been received in order to ascertain whether the mark is available for not. OHIM will also publish the mark in the official gazette to allow objections to be voiced by third parties. Once all requirements have been met, OHIM will issue a registration certificate to the mark owner; giving the owner exclusive rights to the use and ownership of the mark throughout all 27 EU member states.
The range of responsibilities that come under the scope of OHIM, includes;
- Examining trademark applications
- Registering marks
- Handling objections to registration
- Conducting trademark searches
- Enforcing the rights of registered owners
Through adopting its own legal and administrative independence, the registry proactively regulates and manages all community trademarks and designs throughout the EU. The legal framework for community trademarks allows OHIM to revoke any trademark rights and refuse renewal where requirements are not met or infringement occurs. Operating in line with European Community Law, OHIM monitors, develops, and implements high standards within the EU intellectual property market.
Although a single application is required for registration with OHIM, it is maintained that applications should be made with the assistance of a professional consultant, primarily to ensure the application process is successful and completed in a timely manner. A professional consultant or trademark attorney can also perform a trademark search with the OHIM database to ensure the mark is available prior to filing for registration, thus lowering the risk of the mark being refused.
For more information on Community Trademarks and OHIM, please view our EU Trademark page.
Alternatively, you can Contact Us to find out how we can assist with your intellectual property needs.