Basic info about EU trademarks
What countries does EU trademark cover?
EU member states, i.e. 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.
What are the benefits of EU trademark registration?
You can cover the whole European Union with one single trademark registration. Registered EU trademark gives you legal rights in all EU member states (current and future ones). It is the most effective way to protect your trademark in Europe. The cost of registration is minimal. For a trademark in one class the cost is approximately 3€ country/year.
What are the downsides of EU trademark registration?
The initial cost is slightly higher than filing a trademark in only one or two European countries. On the other hand, if you add local attorney fees to each country, the costs start adding up. If you need trademark protection in only one or two EU countries, it might be cheaper to protect the mark in those, but more than that, EU trademark will be much cheaper.
Another downside is that the distinctiveness (i.e. whether the applied mark describes the goods and services covered by the trademark and thus cannot be registered) is assessed in all EU languages. So the tradenark cannot be descriptive of its products in any EU language.
Finally, prior registered trademarks in any EU country can be enough to prevent the granting of EU trademark. It will be for the owners of prior marks to oppose your application if they want it to be registered, but even single national trademark in one country (e.g. Malta) can be enough to prevent the EU registration as a whole (in which case you should protect your trademark nationally).
Who can apply for EU trademark?
Any natural or legal person (that's lawyer's silly way of saying that "persons" and "companies") can apply for EU trademark. For those individuals who are based in European Economic Area countries (EU members and Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) it is not mandatory to use a professional representative. A non-EEA based individual or company must use a professional representative in all proceedings before the office. Filing the application is not a “proceeding”, so technically nobody needs a representative to file an EU trademark.
How is an EU trademark application examined, and how long it will take?
EU trademark application is examined by examiners EU intellectual property office, based in Alicante Spain. For more details on application process (also plenty of valuable tips) please see our EU Trademark Application Guidebook. It will give you information on what to take into consideration when filing an application, how to take advantage of various language options, how to draft a high quality list of goods and services, as well as many other useful issues.
What to do if you receive a refusal (notification) from EUIPO?
If you receive a notification letter from EUIPO informing you that the applied trademark cannot be registered, we are happy to give you a preliminary assessment of you case free of charge. If you're interested, see further instructions here.
Can EU be designated in an application for international trademark registration at WIPO?
Absolutely. The novelty is that you must designate a second language for your EU trademark. If you file your international application in English, you must choose French, German, Italian or Spanish as the second language for EU. You make the application for international registration using this WIPO form.
EU trademark application is examined by examiners EU intellectual property office, based in Alicante Spain. For more details on application process (also plenty of valuable tips) please see our EU Trademark Application Guidebook.
Reggster is an online trademark filing service provided by a Finnish based law firm, Ipriq Intellectual Property Law. We specialise in trademark prosecution. We are based in Helsinki, Finland. Our attorneys have more than 10 years of experience in protecting EU trademarks for companies around the world.