What You Should Know About Trademark Registration in Europe
Filing for a EUTM, or European Union Trademark application enables you to get a trademark registration covering the whole European Union with 27 member states. The registration process will take at most six months as long as you get no opposition. There is a lot you need to know about registering a trademark in Europe, and it includes the following.
The Application Process
You will start the process by filling in the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). The trademark application should contain an identifiable owner, application request, list of goods and services, and a clear mark representation. Within a month of applying, you will pay a filing fee.
You can get expert agents to help you with the trademark registration European Union process. After applying, the EUIPO will perform a search for earlier rights and send you a search report. A surveillance letter gets sent to owners of a registered trademark.
The report does not necessarily mean that your application will be rejected. However, if any opposition arises from the previous owners of previous rights, the registration will be canceled. Another reason EUIPO can reject your application is if any part or the whole fails to meet the requirements.
Cases of Opposition
After applying for a trademark, a third party can submit a notice of opposition. The reason could be that the third party sees your trademark as unacceptable. They could even have an earlier right, and they believe that if yours is registered, it will conflict with theirs. The opposition does not mean that your trademark gets rejected right away since the EUIPO has a procedure it follows before dismissing it.
Both parties, the opponent and applicant, have to represent their disputes and submit evidence. However, you can save yourself all the trouble of having an opposition by first doing a thorough search before applying for a trademark. Through the EUIPO trademark database and other local offices’ databases in member states, you can conduct the trademark search.
Publication and Registration
After a search report gets sent to you, the EUIPO publishes your application using 23 official European languages. If the application and its related sign meet all requirements, then it gets registered as a trademark. The EUIPO will issue you with a trademark certificate after registration.
Your application Cannot Get Automatically Rejected
Prior trademarks are not a basis for rejecting your application in the EU, as the case is with other countries like the US, Japan, South Korea, and China. Applying for a trademark in Japan or China, with a name similar to another trademark, is enough to have it rejected, not so with the EU.
The EU accepts your application and publishes it if it is a distinctive trademark. Other firms can oppose it within three months, but it cannot get automatically rejected.
One registration of an EU trademark can cover 27 countries and a vast market. However, for you to get the EU trademark, there should be no registration restrictions in any 27 countries. An obstacle in any of the countries is enough to refuse you an EU registration.