EUROPEAN UNION TRADEMARKS
The application for the registration of a European Union trademark can be effected by any physical person or legal entity at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante or at the UIBM in Rome.
In the case of first filing, within 6 months from the date of filing, the application can be extended to one of the member states of the Convention of Paris claiming priority of the first application of the European Union trademark and allowing the rights of the trademark in the foreign country to be calculated from the filing date of the European application.
The trademark application undergoes a formal examination on the classification of products and services chosen and on the distinctness and legitimacy.
If it passes the formal examination, the application is published and third party holders of prior rights can file an opposition to the application for registration of the trademark within three months from the date of publication. .
After the opposition period, the EUIPO issues a registration certificate.
Unlike Italy, European Community trademarks only offer full protection as of the date of registration. In the period between the date of filing and registration, a European trademark provides limited protection which in any case allows the trademark to be triggered against infringers for the recognition of fair compensation but the decisions can only be taken by the competent authorities after the registration of the trademark.
The trademark has a duration of 10 years and can be renewed countless times for periods of 10 years.
The trademark must be used within five years and its use can not be suspended for a period exceeding five years subject to the penalty of forfeiture.
The trademark can be exploited through licensing agreements (allowed for all or part of the EU territory), sales contracts (allowed only for all of the EU territory) or used as security right; furthermore, a customs supervision can be implemented as of the trademark application, by filing an application for intervention at the customs office that will inform the trademark holder of any transiting of suspected goods.
The official languages of the EUIPO are English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
The registration of the European Union trademark protects a unified trademark in all countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Hungary.