CTM2PROTECT Protect your trademark in the 28 countries of the European Union!


The EU registration system

The registration of European Union Trade Marks is governed by the Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community Trade Mark (CTMR). A European Union trade mark has a unitary character. It shall have equal effect throughout the Union and cannot be registered, transferred or surrendered or be the subject of a decision revoking the rights of the proprietor or declaring it invalid, nor shall its use be prohibited, save in respect of the whole Union.

The European Union Trade Mark registration procedure in short:

Examination on absolute grounds

After the examination on formalities, the application is examined on absolute grounds. The case law of the European Court of Justice is leading in the examination policy of EUIPO. Please note that all the official office languages of the European Union are taken into account when examining a trademark with respect to its inherent registrability.

Official searches

There is no examination on relative grounds. However, a number of countries issue official searches with listings of similar and identical trademarks. These entities/countries are: The EU Register, Austria, Benelux, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

The thoroughness of the searches differs per country and a number of important countries, like France, Germany and Italy are missing. Nevertheless, the results of the searches could give you an indication about the availability of the mark and the existence of potential bars.

When filing an application the applicant can indicate whether or not official searches should be conducted. If the applicant chooses the option to abstain from the official searches, this will accelerate the registration process significantly. An official search in the EU Register will still be part of the registration procedure.

Publication for opposition purposes

The application is published in the Official Bulletin and during 3 months after the publication date possible oppositions can be filed on the basis of prior rights in one or more of the 28 countries in the European Union. Since prior similar marks could exist in The EU Register, the International Register and any of the national trademark registers in the EU countries, there is a high potential for oppositions. However, many EU applications proceed to registration without any oppositions being filed.

On the request of both parties a possible extraofficial settlement of the opposition can be negotiated during an extended period (so called cooling off period).

If an opposition is successful, the entire EU application will be rejected. In such a case the applicant could however opt for conversion into national applications in those EU-countries where the opposing mark is not valid, while retaining the priority date of the EU application.


If no oppositions have been filed or if any oppositions filed have been settled amicably or have been rejected, the application will proceed to registration and the registration certificate will be issued.