For over 25 years, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) enables to register european Union trademarks that are effective across all member states.
Registering a European Union trademark has many advantages. It allows to acquire an industrial property right which grants a monopoly on the protected sign for a ten-year period, which can be renewed indefinitely. It is a key asset that can be relied upon to secure protection against various infringements and possible counterfeiting.
Besides, European Union trademarks complement the protection granted under national trademark registrations, and enable to diversify a trademark portfolio.
It is unquestionable that trademark registrations generally represent a strategic interest (they notably enables to defend one’s trademark against competing trademarks or to protect oneself against the risks of counterfeiting). But filing for a European Union trademark also presents its own specific advantages.
A single registration procedure at a competitive cost
The European Union trademark guarantees a broad protection through a single application. The European Union trademark system grants the owner of the trademark an exclusive right in the 27 Member States of the European Union, which enables the creation of a prior right that can be enforced in all these countries.
This single registration can be done online by indicating a main and a second registration language, both of which must be official languages of the European Union. Moreover, this procedure does not require the translation of the documents claiming the priority of an earlier trademark if these documents are in one of the official languages.
The centralized procedure also generates significant savings compared to filing trademarks before the national offices of each European Union country. This allows to invest on a market of nearly 500 million consumers and at low costs.
An extended scope on overseas territories
Trademarks provide territorial protection and it is therefore paramount to know the geographical scope of protection of your intellectual property rights.
European Union trademarks now cover the entire French territory, including all overseas territories.
Indeed, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), which include New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, the French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna and Saint-Barthélemy, do not belong to the European Union. However, recent specific provisions have confirmed that the protection of the European Union trademark does apply in these territories
Registering a European Union trademark has many advantages and represents a valuable investment, which should not, however, lead to overlook the interests of a national trademark such as a French registration with the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI),.
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