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How to register a trademark in Europe

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Entry into the European market is a serious and responsible step in the development of any business, which can both help its owner to enter a completely different entrepreneurial league, and turn into a financial and reputational fiasco. An important step in the preparatory work should be the registration of a trademark in the European Union. So you can protect your brand from unauthorized use, including misappropriation by competitors, as well as not to be a violator of others’ intellectual property rights.

Petukhov & Partners specializes in solving problems related to trademark protection in Russia and on the territory of foreign countries. As accredited partners of the “Russian Export Center” we provide qualified legal assistance to companies engaged in foreign trade activities. You may contact our international patent lawyers for a consultation and get a free initial expert evaluation and professional advice on how to resolve your legal situation.

Ways of registering a trademark in the EU

National procedure ─ registration in individual countries where it is planned to export goods or services. Rights are formalized through national patent offices;

The European system ─ simultaneous obtaining of legal protection in 28 EU member states as part of a single application. The registration process takes place at the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO);

Madrid system – simultaneous registration of a mark in any country of the applicant’s choice in Europe and worldwide (up to 122 countries).

Each of the ways has its own peculiarities of registration, advantages and disadvantages. For your convenience, we have prepared a comparative table which will help you to consider important nuances, preliminarily estimate costs and compare options.

As you can see, the national ─ procedure is the best option if you are interested in registering a brand in one ─ two countries. When planning a larger export activity we recommend to consider the possibilities of European and Madrid systems, the distinctive advantages of which are the convenience of paperwork and savings on payment of duties.

However, you should take into consideration that in case of selecting the whole territory of European Union for trademark registration and receiving refusal at least from one of its states, you will be automatically rejected in other EU countries as well. In order to evaluate the risks and prospects of registration, the trademark protection validity of the selected countries can be checked before filing the application.

The procedure for the registration of a European trademark

(Within the European system)

  • Making and filing an application to the European Union’s intellectual property office;
  • Payment of the fee;
  • Formal examination of the application by the office;
  • Publication of the application in the Trademark Bulletin;
  • Opposition period (owner of the similar trademark may file an opposition against granting a trademark protection at the EUIPO);

Registration of the trademark.

Duration of rights

The validity of a trademark in the European Union is ten years. If the owner of the right is interested in extending it, he can file an application to that effect. The period of legal protection can be extended an unlimited number of times, every ten years.

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