European Community Trade Mark
The Community Trademark Application is processed in the Interior Market Harmonising Office located in Alicante (SPAIN) or in any given Office of Patents and Trademarks of Member Countries, and does not require the existence of a base trademark in the country of origin and capable of being applied for by any physical or juridical person established in the Member States or in those countries that form part of Union Convention of Paris. The Community Trademark grants the protection in the following countries:
|The United Kingdom
The Community trademarks are granted for a period of 10 years, renewable indefinitely for equal periods and are granted for all Member States, allowing for the same rights as the national trademark in each country and at a very reasonable, proportional cost.
Pre-filing Search: US$400
(1) Per mark
(2) Covers all Class Codes
(3) Search results returned back by e-mail within 7 days
(4) Full availability search on: Community (CTM) data base and WIPO database
(5) Individual Country Databases for: Austria, Belgium & Luxembourg (Benelux), Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
(1) Per mark
(2) Covers 1-3 class codes
(3) Prepared and submitted within 1-2 weeks
(4) Clerical office actions generally answered for free
(5) Monthly follow ups of your mark through out the entire unopposed registration process (via e-mail)
Domestic Representative / Power of Attorney Fees: US$550
(1) For 1-3 class codes (at the same price)
(2) A lawyer is required to act as domestic representative for EU marks.
(3) No legal advice or opinions are provided
Government Filing Fees: US$1200
Per each set of 1-3 class codes (at the same price), payable to the OHIM (we do so on your behalf).
Title Services: US$1200
There is an additional fee to complete the registration process once your trademark registration has been approved. At this time it is approximately $1200 for each 1-3 class code (at the same price).
Summary of Fees
$1,100 Registration & Domestic Rep Fee
$1,200 OHIM Fee
US$2,700 (+ US$1,400 due at the END of the process = US$4,100)
1. A power of attorney signed by the applicant, indicating the full name and position of the signatory.
2. The particulars of the applicant.
3. Prints of the mark.
4. A list of goods and/or services and the classes pertaining thereto.
-- Translation of foreign terms is required
-- General Authorization form is required for international customers
-- No legalization or notarization is required
-- No samples required
European Community Trade Mark Registration Procedures
Filing by fax, or hard copy or on disk
The filing of a Community trademark can be by fax, hard copy or on disk. OHIM provides a computer program which places the application on electronic media. However, the initial program released does not have the ability to print out the entire application, and the only way the application may be printed out is individual screens. Since the filing can be by fax, the original signature of the applicant is not required. If the application is filed by fax, the rules provide for submitting the filing within 30 days thereafter. Note that the filing fee generally must be in ECU's and not in other currencies. Confirmation of a fax filing is made by return fax. Prosecution of the application must be done by a European lawyer or European trademark agent authorized to practice before the European Trademark Office.
The office will accept applications in eleven languages of the European community. However, a second language must also be designated which is one of the five official languages of the office. Those language are English, Spanish, French, Italian and German. In the event that oppositions are filed, they are likely to be in the second language. Many practitioners have suggested that if you file the application in a language which is not widely used, such as Dutch, Finish or Greek, it is highly likely that further correspondence will be in the second language. In filing in a particular language, the only matter which is required to be in that particular language is the identification or description of the goods and services. This identification and description is then translated by the office during the publication time, into 5 languages.
The application is examined for absolute grounds of rejection, but not "relative" grounds. Absolute grounds for rejection are those which prevent registration despite the existence of rights of any third party. Only during the opposition period, can relative grounds be raised.
Once examination for absolute grounds are completed, the mark is sent out to the various countries for a search. Searches are not conducted in Germany, France and Italy. The search reports are provided to the applicant who can amend the application as appropriate. A search is conducted by OHIM, however, of marks which have been registered by OHIM or for which an application is pending. The owners of the marks are then
Payment of filing fee
The filing fee is 975 ECU for the first three classes or European Currency Units. Currency in other form is not required. If the filing is from the United States, one must obtain a foreign current draft in ECU's. Most banks in the United States are not yet equipped to either write drafts or wire funds in this currency.
The mark is published in the Gazette of the Community Trademark Office.
An opposition may be filed by a party who has priority rights or seniority rights. Priority rights exist based on a prior Community mark. Seniority rights exist based on rights based on a prior national registration. Opposition may be effected both as a result of registrations, and also based on common law rights to the extent that they are recognized in a member country. Trade name and company names may be the basis for filing oppositions.
Other Interesting Facts of European Community Trade Mark
The OHIM (Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market) started accepting Community Trademarks (CTMs) in 1994.
A national trademark owner (in any 1 of the 15 EU member countries) may oppose the registration a CTM application which will stop the application completely in the entire European Community.
Period of Protection of European Community Trade Mark
10 years but non-use for 5 years will make the mark vulnerable.
See also: Frequently asked questions concerning registration of European Community Trademarks