EUROPEAN UNION TRADEMARK
Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech (Rep.), Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary.
All signs (in particular the words, drawings, letters, figures) may be registered as a trademark in the European Union, provided that they are suitable to distinguish the products or services of a company from those of other companies and if they meet the novelty, distinctiveness and lawfulness requirements. Sounds, colour combinations and colour tones, the shape of the product or the packaging thereof can also be registered.
Before filing a trademark, it is advisable to conduct:
- a trademark validity assessment on the characteristics inherent in the sign;
- priority search on any prior third-party rights.
When filing a trademark, it is necessary to very clearly define products and/or services for which one intends to request protection. All products are conventionally classified into 45 classes defined by the International Classification of Goods and Services.
After carrying out the necessary preliminary verifications highlighted above and after defining the products/services in question, we carrying out all the necessary formalities for filing the registration application before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) based in Alicante.
After receiving the application, the EUIPO assesses the distinctiveness, lawfulness, deceptiveness. If requested at the time of filing, the EUIPO conducts a priority search between the European Union trademarks and issues a search report. However, even in the presence of similar prior trademarks the EUIPO does not issue any rejections of the application based on the presence identical or similar prior trademarks in the register. It will therefore be the responsibility of the proprietors of prior trademarks to take measures to prevent the registration of a trademark by filing an opposition.
In the absence of rejections and oppositions, the registration procedure shall be concluded within approximately 4/6 months from filing with the issuance of the registration certificate.
DURATION AND RENEWAL
The duration of the European registration is 10 years from the date of filing of the application. Renewal is required every 10 years. Therefore, the exclusive right to a trademark can be potentially maintained indefinitely.