1. What is a community trademark (European trademark)?
A European trademark is a label for products and services, which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. The owner of a European trademark (trademark Europe) obtains a unitary protection across the 27 Member States of the European Union in a very simple way.
A community trademark, which is registered at the EUIPO (Europan Office for intellectual property) confers on its holder the right to prevent third parties, not having his consent, to use a sign, where, because of its identity with, or similarity to the trademark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by the trademark and the sign, there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public. I.e. the use of a sign may be prevented if the opposing signs and the opposing goods or services are either identical or similar and there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public. For more info, please contact one of our European trademark attorneys.
More specifically, the proprietor is entitled to prevent unauthorized third parties from: putting the registered trademark Europe onto their goods or packaging; offering goods, putting them on the market or stocking them for commercial purposes using the registered CTM; offering or supplying services carrying the registered CTM; importing or exporting goods under it; and using it on business papers and in advertising.
A european trademark is initially valid for 10 years and may be renewed indefinitely for periods of ten years.
The protective effect of a community trademark covers the entire territory of the EU.
2. What can be subject to a trademark registration in Europe?
A European trademark may consist of any signs capable of being represented graphically, in particular:
• Words, if they cannot be used to describe the goods or services for which protection is sought
• First names and last names
• Phonetic signs
• Three-dimensional forms including the shape of goods
• Colors and color combinations
A registration will be refused, where the trademark Europe is devoid of any distinctive character, or exclusively serves to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or other characteristics of the goods or services.
Please note that it is sometimes difficult to assess, whether a trademark will be registered or refused. The case law on this topic is extensive and covers several volumes. In order for us to estimate the chances of registration of a European trademark, we need to know the trademark name and the offered goods or services for which the trademark shall be used. In case of questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Our European Trademark Attorneys will be happy to offer advice. Please contact us.
3. How do I apply for a trademark in Europe?
A European or Community trademark is registered directly with the EUIPO in Spain. For more information, please refer to the EUIPO website. A trademark attorney is usually necessary.
4. What follows after filing a European trademark application?
After the trademark application has been received by the EUIPO, the office examines, if the trademark does have distinctive character. Further, the EUIPO examines, if the trademark is perceived by the public exclusively in a descriptive manner. If the Office finds that the trademark Europe meets the requirements of the trademark regulations, the trademark is registered in the official register, and the registration is published. Otherwise, the Office will issue an official notification including objections and sets a term for filing a response.
5. How much is a EU trademark application?
In addition to the official fees, a European trademark application typically incurs attorney fees for preparing a list of goods and services as well as for completing the application forms and filing the application documents with the EUIPO. In addition, it is advisable to carry out a trademark search prior to filing an application or using a trademark in order to avoid a legal conflict with potential holders of earlier trademarks. Please contact us for an offer. Our trademark attorneys look forward to hearing from you.