Q & A on the hottest registered EU trademark

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Q & A on registered EU trademarks

European Community Trademark

1. What is an EU trademark

answer: EU trademark refers to the mark that is registered by OHIM (European Community Internal Market Coordination Bureau) according to the conditions stipulated in ctmr (European Community Trademark Regulation), which is valid within the EU and is used to identify and distinguish goods or services

2. How to understand the unity of EU trademarks

answer: EU trademarks and their registration applications are valid throughout the EU. Trademark applications and their corresponding registrations are automatically extended to all 25 member states. It is impossible to limit geographical protection to a few member states. Moreover, the EU trademark registration has a registration procedure controlled by OHIM, without the intervention of national industrial property offices. In addition, the invalidity, rejection or expiration of any EU trademark will apply to the whole EU. Finally, the EU trademark is a single property. It can only be transferred as the property of the entire EU (not individual member states). However, some trademark licenses with geographical or other restrictions, or even those limited to a specific member state, are acceptable

3. Which 25 member states are covered by EU trademarks

answer: 25 countries of the European Union: Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Greece, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, istania, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

4. Do EU trademarks surpass the trademarks of individual member states

answer: the EU trademark registration system has no impact on the trademark registration system of its member states (including the trademark systems of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). Enterprises can freely choose to apply for trademark registration in individual member states or EU, or both. A large number of existing trademarks that have been registered in member countries are still valid. Whether to completely rely on the protection of EU trademarks or to obtain the dual protection of trademarks of Member States and EU at the same time depends entirely on the strategic needs of trademark applicants and owners. However, if the trademark registration of Member States precedes the registration of EU trademarks, the trademarks of Member States enjoy the priority, and vice versa. The industrial property offices of Member States will not take the initiative to review the prior right. Only the prior owner can make a request, that is, by submitting an objection within 3 months from the date of the EU trademark announcement, or applying for invalidity after the EU trademark is registered according to relevant regulations

5. If the reason for the rejection of the application only involves a certain member state, is there a universally applicable principle for such rejection

answer: Yes. The Industrial Property Office of the Member States will reject the application for EU trademarks, even if the reasons for its rejection are only applicable to this part of the member states. For example, if a trademark contains a trade name in an official language in which the test results of a hydraulic universal testing machine from an EU member state sometimes appear to be inaccurate, the Industrial Property Office of that member state will reject the application. The right of prior registration will affect the registration of EC trademarks, even if this prior right only exists in one EU member state. However, the impact of this situation should not be exaggerated. It is not common for a trademark to be rejected because it contains a common name that is not prominent, or descriptive, or uses an official language of the European Union (not one of the world's major trade languages). If the prior right only exists in one member state, there is no doubt that this prior right will not become invalid because others later apply for EU trademark registration. The procedure of raising objections and invalidating prior rights in OHIM provides enough space for the proper settlement of such problems. Finally, the EU trademark registration applications that have been rejected or declared invalid or abolished can be changed to trademark registration applications in all EU member states that do not apply the reasons for rejection. The trademark application of such Member States also enjoys the application date of the EU trademark

6. Can international registration in accordance with the Madrid Protocol be carried out on the basis of EU trademark registration? Can the internationally registered trademarks through the Madrid Protocol be approved for EU trademark registration

answer: at present, the answer to both questions is No. The EU is not yet a signatory to the Madrid Protocol. Although the European Commission has put the EU's accession to the Madrid Protocol and the amendment of ctmr to adjust the procedures related to international registration on the agenda, the European Council has not made a final decision

7. What kind of marks can be registered as EU trademarks

answer: EU trademarks can include any signs that can be represented by charts, especially words, including people's names, patterns, letters, numbers, the shape of goods or their packaging appearance, as long as these signs can distinguish the use of one kind of goods or services from other kinds of uses

therefore, the following marks can be used for registration as trademarks:

- text marks include letters, numbers, or combinations of letters, numbers and words

- graphic marks with or without text

- color graphic mark

- color or combination of multiple colors

- three dimensional mark

- sound mark

- the trademark application must include a diagram of the trademark applied for

8. Which marks cannot be registered as EU trademarks

answer: although some marks meet the definition of trademarks, if there is an absolute reason for rejection, these marks cannot be registered as EU trademarks, that is, if this mark:

- does not have any significant characteristics

- refers specifically to the type, quality, quantity, purpose, value, origin, production date or service provision date of goods or services, and other characteristics of goods or services

- it is a difficulty in front of researchers, which has become a common practice in the current language or business

- contrary to public policies or widely accepted ethical norms

- has the nature of deceiving the public, such as false description of the nature, quality or origin of goods or services

- there are absolute reasons for rejection of product shape, alcoholic beverage origin or some official symbols

- some trademarks can be significant through use

in addition, trademarks rejected due to objections cannot be used as EU registered trademarks. The prior obligee shall submit an objection within 3 months from the date of the EU trademark announcement. The following circumstances constitute the prior right:

the prior EU trademark or application

- prior trademark registration or application for registration in a single EU member state

- International Registration Based on Madrid Agreement or Madrid Agreement in force in EU Member States

- non registered trademarks or other marks used for trade and valid in multiple member states

- a well-known trademark in a member state (according to Article 6 of the Paris Convention)

- an EU trademark registration application, if the applied trademark is the same or similar to the previous trademark, and is used on the same or similar goods, the EU trademark registration application will be rejected; If the applied trademark is the same or similar to the previous trademark of the European Union, and is used on the same or similar goods, there is the possibility of causing some public confusion, including the possibility of being linked to the previous trademark, the application for trademark registration of the European Union will be rejected; If the applied trademark is the same or similar to the previous EU trademark, but the goods used are different, if the previous trademark has a certain reputation, and its significance or reputation will be unfairly competitive and damaged, the EU trademark registration application will be rejected

it should be noted that if the rejection factor exists in any EU part or country, the EU trademark will not be approved for overall registration. For example, if the same trademark is used for the same goods or services in only one member state, the trademark will be rejected due to the objection of the previous trademark owner

these objection reasons also serve as the reasons for the invalidation of the application after the EU trademark is approved for registration

9. What is the registration procedure of EU trademarks

answer: the EU trademark registration procedure adopts the examination procedure, which is mainly composed of the following three parts:

the first is the examination of the application, including whether there is a consistent application date, formal examination and whether there is an absolute rejection. At this time, create a query report. The second is announcement; The third is to be approved for registration (including the stage of objection approval procedure.)

the first step of the procedure begins with accepting the application. The application is either directly accepted by OHIM or through various state industrial property offices, and includes:

- examining whether the application date is consistent, and applying for the examination of the category of designated trademarks or services

- send this goods or service order to the EU Translation Center (Luxembourg)

- establish an EU trademark inquiry report, send this application to the Industrial Property Office of the Member States, inquire in the registration of each member state, and send all reports to the applicant or its agent

- examination of whether there are reasons for absolute rejection

- OHIM will not review the relative reasons for rejection. This review will only be conducted due to the objection raised by a third party or the cancellation application after the registration of the EC trademark is approved

The second step of the procedure is the announcement of the EU trademark registration application, which indicates that OHIM has agreed to the trademark registration

the third party with prior rights raises an objection in the third step procedure. The objection must be submitted within 3 months from the date of EU trademark application announcement. If the applicant wins the objection ruling, or no objection is submitted during the objection period, the EU trademark application will be approved

The review constitutes a special procedural stage. The reexamination may be raised in the above examination process to object to the examination opinions, objections and the ruling of the trademark administration and legal department. For one party, the non final ruling can be reviewed, unless the final ruling allows another review. The reexamination board is responsible for ruling on the reexamination application

10. What is the EU trademark application date

answer: the EU trademark application date refers to the exact date on which OHIM receives this application (or the date on which the State Industrial Property Office, including the trademark registration office of the Benelux Economic Union, receives the application). The application must provide the following documents:

- Application for EU trademark registration requirements

- applicant information

- goods or services designated by the trademark

- trademark pattern

- the basic application fee shall be paid within 1 month from the date of receipt by OHIM or the State Industrial Property Office

11. What will happen if one of the application date requirements is not met

answer: the application date is either later than the actual receipt date of the Industrial Property Office, or it is not accepted at all. OHIM will send a notice requiring to supplement the required documents within two months. If this notice is complied with, the application date will be the date on which all supplementary requirements are met. On the contrary, this document will not be considered as an EU application

12. What is the EU trademark registration date

answer: the EU registration date refers to the date when the industrial property office registers the EU trademark in the registration department before the EU trademark registration announcement. The registration date can only be registered after the registration fee is settled. On the trademark registration certificate, the registration date is located at the bottom left of the first page after "registered in". The registration date is the beginning of the five-year term of use of the EU trademark. The rights granted by the EU trademark can only be contested from the date of the trademark registration announcement

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