A European (EU) trademark is commonly referred to as a Community trademark or CTM. This type of trademark occurs where the mark owners seeks trademark registration in all 27 EU member states and thus registers the mark through OHIM – Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. If you intend to register a EU trademark it is highly advised to seek the guidance of a professional consultancy firm of trademark attorney who can navigate the EU trademark registration process efficiently and effectively for you.
How to register a European Trademark
To obtain EU trademark registration it is necessary to apply to OHIM by filing the official application form with details of the intended registered mark, and also the applicable registration fee. If OHIM approves the application you will be issued a trademark registration certificate, however if your application is rejected you will loose your registration fee and the trademark will not receive any form of official or legal protection.
By seeking trademark registration through OHIM, your trademark or CTM will receive protection across all 27 EU member states, if the application is approved. The main benefit of registering through OHIM is that you can acquire rights over your trademark in 27 European countries by filing a single application form. The same applies to CTM renewal – you need only file one form to renew your CTM rights.
The applicable trademark law imposed on CTM’s is the Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 and aims to ensure the CTM is protected against infringement and passing off in each EU member state.
It should be noted that all EU trademarks have a validity period of 10 years from the date of registration by which all CTM owners will be required to renew their trademark rights. This is advised to be conducted through the use of a professional consultancy firm that are familiar with the procedures and rules associated with OHIM.
One of the most important aspects of filing trademark registration for a CTM is to perform a trademark search through the OHIM database to ensure the trademark is available to use and register. A professional should be obtained to perform the OHIM trademark search on your behalf as this will demonstrate to the relevant courts and Intellectual Property authorities that you acted in good will when seeking EU trademark registration.
For information on how Starting Business can assist you to register a European trademark, view our EU Trademark service page.