The Regulation on the Community Trade Mark (CTMR) came into force on March 15, 1994, but the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) began to accept applications only as of April 1, 1996.
The new EU Regulation 2015/2424 is in force since March 23, 2016 changing, among other important reforms, the names to EU Trademarks (EUTM) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EUIPO has its seat in the city of Alicante, Spain.
The EU Trademark Regulation (EUTMR) establishes a regional trademark system under which it is possible to obtain a valid trademark for all the countries forming the European Union (EU). At present, these 28 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
MAIN LEGAL BASIS
- Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of December 16, 2015, in force since March 23, 2016, amending:
- Council Regulation (EC) No. 207/2009 of February 26, 2009, on the Community Trademark. Consolidated version.
- Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2868/95 of December 13, 1995, implementing Council Regulation (EC) No. 40/94 on the Community Trademark. Consolidated version.
- Commission Regulation (EC) No. 216/96 of February 5, 1996, laying down the rules of procedure of the Boards of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs). Consolidated version.
- Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council, to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks. The Directive replaces the content of Directive 2008/95/EC.
An application for an EU Trademark may cover more than one international class and must contain:
- A request;
- Information identifying the applicant;
- A list of goods or services;
- A representation of the trademark.
Where to file: The application can be filed, at the choice of the applicant, at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) or at the central Industrial Property Office of a Member State or at the Benelux Trademark Office.
Official languages of the EUIPO: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. All proceedings at the EUIPO will therefore be conducted in one of those languages. The following exceptions, among others, are nevertheless accepted: (a) an application for an EUTM may be filed in one of the official languages of the EU; (b) parties to proceedings may agree to use an official language of the EU other than one of the official languages of the EUIPO; (c) when the applicant for an EUTM is the sole party to proceedings and the application was filed in an official language of the EU other than one of the official languages of the EUIPO, the application may be prosecuted in that language.
Kinds of protection: verbal, pictorial, three-dimensional and other designations or their combination. Sound, touch or smell marks will be protectable as of October 2017. Service and collective marks are registrable.
Use of EU Trademarks: an EUTM is to be put to genuine use in the European Union by its owner in connection with the goods or services literally covered by the used words when it has been registered. If no such use is made within a period of five years following registration, or if use is suspended for an uninterrupted period of five years, the EUTM shall be subject to certain sanctions unless there are proper reasons for non-use.
Duration and renewal: an EUTM is registered for a period of ten years from the filing date of the application and may be renewed for further periods of ten years.
Opposition: within a period of three months following publication of the EUTM, oppositions may be filed by the owner of earlier marks or rights at the EUIPO.