Trademark Search in the European Union

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Frequently Asked Question
What is a Community trademark?

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), formerly named the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, administers the EU trademark(EUTM), called the Community Trade Mark (CTM) until March 2016. An EUTM is a pending or formal registration of a trademark recognized across the entire EU community rather than acknowledged country by country. The mark holder does not have to reside in a member country to apply for the EUTM.

The countries that support this community registration are in the European Union, namely; Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the (soon to leave) United Kingdom.

CTMs, like their national counterparts, protect the property rights of their owners. Their administration and processing are less expensive than a national trademark for each member country and cover up to three trademark classes. Detailed requirements regarding a mark's graphical representation support emerging, latest technologies, and non-traditional markings like, for example, holograms. New rulings10 also include a five-year proof of use regulation.

 

10 http://www.oblon.com/news/changes-coming-in-2016-for-community-trade-mark-system/

Does having a registered trademark in the European Union give me any right?

Yes. You have to register your trademark in order to enjoy rights. The “the first to file” rule applies in the European Union.

What is the web address of the trademark national office?

The national trademark office of the European Union is accessible via this link: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/es

Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

No. Applicants are not mandated to use the mark or to have intention to use the mark before registration.

What is the OHIM?

The term OHIM stands for "Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market", this term is no longer in use since 23 march, 2016. Today this office is called "European Union Intellectual Property Office" (EUIPO), this is the body in charge of registering Trademarks in the European Union.

What is the EUIPO?

The term "EUIPO" stands for “European Union Intellectual Property Office” it was founded in 1994, and is the body responsible for registering trademarks in the European Union.

Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Yes. Grounds for opposition include: 

  • Propriety rights
  • Corporate and establishment names
  • Works of publication
  • Domain names
  • Violation of rights under Article 8, Article 6septies, and Article 6bis of the Paris Convention
  • Marks that indicate geographical location
Who can contest my trademark registration?

Owners of a similar trademark which was registered earlier can oppose the registration. Licensees may also oppose the registration.

Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. Registered trademarks are vulnerable to cancellation due to: 

  • Violation of propriety rights
  • Descriptive marks
  • Non-distinctive marks
  • Misleading marks
  • Functional marks
  • Beach of copyright
  • Violation of rights under Article 6bis, Article 6ter, Article 6septies, and Article 8 of the Paris Convention
  • Geographical indication
  • Violation of moral standards and public policy
  • Non-use
  • Registration in bad faith
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. When you register your trademark, you are guaranteed to enjoy several rights namely: 

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to object to later conflicting registrations
  • Right to demand an action to cancel later conflicting registrations
  • Right to take legal action against infringing third parties and the right to obtain damages
  • Right to issue license to third parties
  • Right to request confiscation of counterfeit goods
How long is the opposition period?

Opposition period starts on the date the application was published or one month after the application was published by WIPO of an international organization. The opposition period will end three months after the opposition period has started.

Is European Union a member of the Madrid System?

Yes. European Union is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol.

Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Consult us for information.

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