CTM2PROTECT Protect your trademark in the 27 countries of the European Community!


The CTM registration system

The registration of Community Trade Marks is governed by the Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on the Community Trade Mark (CTMR). A Community trade mark has a unitary character. It shall have equal effect throughout the Community 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 Community.

The Community 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 OHIM. Please note that all the official office languages of the European Community 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 CTM 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 CTM 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 27 countries in the European Community. Since prior similar marks could exist in The CTM Register, the International Register and any of the national trademark registers in the EC countries, there is a high potential for oppositions. However, many CTM 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 CTM application will be rejected. In such a case the applicant could however opt for conversion into national applications in those EC-countries where the opposing mark is not valid, while retaining the priority date of the CTM 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 after settlement of the registration fees ( € 1050 consisting of € 850 official fees and € 200 our professional fees) and the registration certificate will be issued.