Application and Prosecution
Office: The EUTM application is examined and registered by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Applicant: EUTMs may be obtained by natural or legal persons, including authorities established under public law.
Filing requirements: an application for an EUTM may cover more than one international class and must contain:
1. A request;
2. Information identifying the applicant;
3. A list of goods or services;
4. A representation of the trademark.
The application will be subject to payment of a filing fee consisting of a basic fee, with a further fee for each additional class.
The official languages of the EUIPO are: 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.
Electronic filing: possible.
Electronic signatures: are accepted.
The registration procedure for an EUTM is characterized by the following stages:
(a) Formal examination. The EUIPO examines the application to see if it meets the requirements for the accordance of a filing date; if it complies with the conditions laid down in the Implementing Regulation; if the appropriate fees have been paid;
(b) Examination as to absolute grounds for refusal. The EUIPO checks ex officio to see that the application does not come under any absolute ground for refusal;
(c) Search. The EUIPO undertakes a search for potentially relevant earlier EUTMs or EUTM applications which could be invoked against the EUTM applied for and, if so requested by the applicant, sends the latter a report citing the trademarks found. The Office in any event also notifies the owners of those earlier marks of the existence of the mark of the applicant, for their information. If expressly requested in the EUTM application, the EU search report may be supplemented by reports from the central Industrial Property Offices of the Member States of the EU, citing any earlier national trademarks or trademark applications which may be invoked against the EUTM applied for;
(d) Publication of the application, observations by third parties and oppositions. The application is published in the EU Trade Marks Bulletin, mainly so that observations may be submitted or oppositions may be entered. Third parties may submit written observations to the EUIPO, explaining the grounds on which the EUTM application should be refused ex officio, in particular on coming under an absolute ground for refusal. Within a period of three months following publication of the EUTM, oppositions may be entered by the proprietors of earlier marks or rights, as established in Art. 8 EUTMR (see infra IV);
(e) Registration. Once the trademark is granted, it is registered as an EU trademark. The Office issues a certificate of registration, which can be issued by electronic means. When it is not issued by electronic means, the Office provides certified or uncertified copies of the certificate subject to the payment of a fee;
(f) Appeals. Decisions of the EUIPO can be appealed to the Board of Appeal of the EUIPO. The appeal must be filed in writing within two months after the notification of the decision. The appeal is deemed to have been filed only when the corresponding fee has been paid. In addition, a written statement setting out the grounds of appeal must be filed within four months after the date of notification of the decision. Remedy from decisions by the Boards of Appeal may be sought from the General Court of Justice within two months, after which a further appeal to the European Court of Justice is possible.