REGISTRATION OF A MARK OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Trademark registration can be done for the territory of all countries in the European Union. This is done by submitting an application for registration of a European Union trademark (EUTM) to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
This type of registration has a valuable advantage , namely that its effect covers the entire territory of the European Union (in all member states), while meeting the general requirements for trademark protection, conducting a single, accessible and relatively fast registration procedure, which is in one administrative body - the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain.
This type of fast and economical procedure for registration in EUIPO of marks for the whole European Union, can be conducted in the official working language of any of the EU member states, but obligatory in combination with one of the mandatory working languages of the Office - English , French, German, Spanish or Italian..
The registered mark of EU
The EU registered mark has an uniform nature, which in practice means that the applicants receive protection concurrently in all member states of the European Union, and cannot choose specific countries that are of interest for them. In each EU Member State, the registration of an EU trade mark confers to its proprietor the same rights as those which would have resulted from the registration of a national trade mark in that State.
However, this uniform nature of the EU trademark protection procedure can also lead to a simultaneous refusal of the registration for all EU countries. It is possible to transform an EU trademark that has been refused registration into the relevant national trademark application for the same goods and /or services, thus obtaining protection for the territory of a specific EU Member State, maintaining at the same time the priority date of filing the initial application for European trademark.
Such a transformation of an application for a trademark of the European Union into an application for registration of a national trademark is possible, provided that are met the time limits stipulated for this in the Regulation.
PERSONS ENTITLED TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR A EUROPEAN TRADEMARK
There are no special restrictions and any able-bodied person can apply for registration of trademarks at the European Office of EUIPO, regardless of whether he is a citizen, has domicile or residence of company in an EU Member State.
It should be borne in mind that if the applicant of an European trademark, does not actually have a permanently established registered office, manufacturing plant or commercial representation in the European Economic Area, he must appoint a European trademark and design lawyer to represent him in all proceedings before EUIPO. The European Economic Area (EEA) includes the Member States of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
WHAT CAN BE REGISTERED AS EU TRADEMARK?
As European Union trademarks, can be protected all kinds of signs, words, personal names or graphic signs, letters, numbers, color combinations, the shape of the product or its packaging, as well as sounds. These signs need to be able to distinguish the goods and /or services of one person from those of others (natural or legal). The precise representation of those signs determines the subject-matter of the protection that is granted to their holder. The EU trade mark must be registered with respect to predetermined goods and /or services of the Nice Classification of Goods and Services.
TERM OF REGISTRATION OF THE EUROPEAN TRADEMARK
The term of protection of the European Union trademark is 10 years and runs from the priority date of filing the application with EUIPO. It is necessary the fees for application or maintenance to be paid always within the specified period.
The registration of images as trademarks for all EU Member States can be done in the following two possible ways: By directly filing an application for registration of mark of the European Union with EUIPO in Alicante. Or through an application for registration of an international trademark submitted to WIPO in Geneva, designating the EU.
Regardless of the choice made by the applicant for the action strategy, the assistance of an experienced European trademark lawyer is recommended and, under certain circumstances already described, even mandatory.