Trademark registration in the European Union

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Alexander Dubok
Alexander Dubok
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Anatoly Dubok
Anatoly Dubok
Technical Director.
Daniel Fadeev
Daniel Fadeev
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Dmitry Naplekov
Dmitry Naplekov
Patent Attorney No. 2086.
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EU law applies to many states in Europe, united by economic, legal and other ties. Within the common economic space there are common rules for patenting objects of industrial property - inventions, utility models and industrial designs. In this article we will examine whether similar rules are provided for the registration of trademarks in Europe, and under what rules protection is granted to these objects.

Ways to protect a trademark

The rights to objects of commercial property, which include a trademark, arise only after registration and receipt of a certificate. Commercial entities - legal entities and entrepreneurs - can assert their rights to the product designation. Private persons cannot own the rights to a trademark, under any circumstances. Each state, including a member of the European Union, has its own system of legislation in the field of intellectual property. In addition, at the international level the Madrid Agreement has been approved and ratified, which also applies to the EU states. However, unlike the rules of patenting, where the European Patent Convention is in force, the system of trademark registration in the EU does not have a single act. Therefore, there is no such thing as a European trademark, and legal protection can be obtained in the following ways:

  • file separate applications with the national patent offices of each EU state where the company plans to use the trademark;
  • file a single international application under the Madrid system or an application to the EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Office) - in this case it is possible to obtain a certificate for several member states of the agreement at once.

Thus, in order to immediately secure rights in all EU states, a company needs to file an application under the Madrid system. This can be done through the patent office of its state - for example, for Russian companies it is necessary to apply through Rospatent. The choice of one of the above mentioned ways of registration and protection depends only on the company's decision. If legal protection of a trademark is needed for production or trade purposes in only one state, it is advisable to file a national application. For the expansion of business to the territory of several EU states at once, the best option would be registration under the Madrid system.

Registration procedure

Similar rules apply for national and international trademark registration procedures. The difference lies only in the rules for filing applications and the regime of legal protection arising after registration. The following set of documents is formed for filing the application:

When applying to individual states, the documents must be translated immediately into the national languages of the respective countries. In the case of an international application under the Madrid system, this is not required, and a translation will only be needed for examinations. In order to obtain a certificate and to secure the rights to a trademark in Europe or in the territories of individual states, it is necessary to go through the following stages of registration:

From the moment of registration, the company will have exclusive rights to the trademark. This means that the designation can be used when selling its own goods, selling or transferring rights to other commercial entities, protecting against unauthorized use and the release of counterfeit products. The term of protection will last for 10 years, after which the right holder will be able to extend the certificate for the same period of time.

Features of registration

The procedure for registering a trademark in Europe will have a number of features that companies need when making an application:

  • If a foreign company applies for registration, it must conduct business through patent attorneys accredited by national or international bodies;
  • It is allowed to transfer an application filed at the national level to the international status - for this purpose the applicant must submit a corresponding application;
  • In the course of examination, objections may be filed by other commercial entities concerning trademark overlaps, unlawful assignment of priority and other categories of disputes - they may affect the positive decision on the application and are subject to consideration in administrative or judicial proceedings.

An important rule must be observed even after obtaining a registration certificate. The company is obliged to start using the trademark not later than 3 years. In case of violation of this requirement, any interested person may apply for cancellation of legal protection of the designation or transfer of rights.

Our Services

If you need to register your trademark in one or more European countries, please contact our experts for assistance. We will explain the peculiarities and consequences of this procedure and help you to choose the best option for obtaining protection. The list of services includes:

All trademark registration services in Europe are provided by experienced specialists of our company - patent attorneys, lawyers and attorneys. We will eliminate any risks of refusal to issue a certificate and help to complete the procedure in the shortest possible time. In order to clarify the procedure of service rendering and the cost of work, please use the consultation of our specialists, which you can get by phone listed on the website or via the feedback form.

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