Updated: May 31
Author: Irene Gerarduz
Date of Publication: 16/02/2023
If you run a business, you certainly also own a trademark to make customers identify you.
In particular, your trademark allows you to differentiate your products from others and
summarizes your values. So, your trademark is part of your intellectual property and it’s
critical to the success of your business.
What is a Trademark?
Trademarks are signs used in commerce to identify products. Actually a trademark can
consist of any sign, such as words (including names of persons) or designs, letters,
numerals, colors, the shape of goods or their packaging, and sounds. So, your trademark
is the symbol that allows customers to recognize you and sets you apart from the
competition. Therefore, by registering the trademark, you can protect and consolidate it.
In some countries, it is possible to protect your trademark even if it is not registered.
However, it is highly recommended to register for it. The only condition for registering a
trademark is that it must be well-defined. Otherwise, no one will be certain what the
registration covers. As a result, the trademark must be distinctive, and individual and not
describe what you are selling.
4 Registration Systems
In the European Union, the trademark registration system has four levels. In fact, it is up to the needs of the company to choose a system that fits the business that runs.
If you intend to obtain protection in only one EU member state, such as the one in which the company is based, you can use the national solution. In particular, you can do so by filing a trademark application directly at the national IP office. (Via national EU IP offices).
If you want to achieve protection in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, you can fill an application to the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). That it is the only IP office in the European Union to protect the mark in those three member states. (Registration in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, via BOIP)
If you want protection in more than one EU member state, you can fill out an EU trademark application with the EUIPO. More specifically, an online application at the Office costs EUR 850 and is done in one language only. When the office receives the application, it will check it and once registered, the mark can be renewed indefinitely every 10 years. (Protection via the EUIPO)
International protection is the fourth solution available within the EU. This allows a national, regional, or EU trademark application to be used to extend protection on an international scale to any country that is a signatory to the Madrid Protocol (Registration via WIPO).
4 Benefits of Registering a Trademark in the EU
A single registration: online and in one single language is valid in all EU Member States.
● The UE trademark allows the owner to exercise an exclusive right in all current and future EU member states at an affordable price.
● The owner can impose his trademark in a market of 500 million consumers.
● An EU trademark is valid for 10 years and it can be renewed infinitely.
Registration at the EUIPO
Adequate planning is extremely important because trademark applications may be
rejected, and in this case, you can’t get any refund. The reason for a denied application is
the fact that someone else had already filed the trademark. Another factor would be that
the trademark was devoid of distinctiveness. Therefore, if somebody else has already
registered the same trademark, it is no longer available.
Moreover, the trademark application must contain a reproduction of the trademark you
wish to register and a list of the goods and/or services that will be covered by the mark.
The Nice Classification is adopted by the European Union Intellectual property Office
(EUIPO) to classify goods and services. When you fill in the application form, you must give your details too. Therefore, the information given will be used to identify you as the
owner of the trademark.
Regarding the fee, the basic one must be paid within one month from the date EUIPO
receives the application.
- The basic fee covers one class for EUR 850.
- The fee for the second class of goods and services is EUR 50.
- The fee for each class from the third is EUR 150.
In conclusion, the signs that constitute a trademark must be capable of distinguishing the
goods and services of one enterprise from another enterprises’. Therefore, it’s extremely
important that when an individual or a company starts using a trademark, it becomes a
trademark owner. Hence, you should register the trademark to ensure its protection. Just
bear in mind that intellectual property rights are indispensable for economic activity and
growth. Actually, they bring high value to their owners and the entire economy.
Basic info - Reggster