By Shona Hastings, 21.07.2021
An EU trademark registration is the most effective way to add protection to various business assets such as company/brand names, logos, or taglines.
Despite the restrictions enforced by many countries over the last number of months, the pandemic has not slowed down EU Trademark registrations. According to the Statistics for European Union Trade Marks (EUIPO) annual report, there were 4,600 more EU trademarks registered in 2020 than in 2019. In the first six months of 2021, there have already been 48,621 trademarks registered in the EU. If this trend continues, we could see as many as 97,000 registrations by the end of the year, an increase of 15% (12,900) from last year.
The importance of a European Trademark for brand protection
Operating in the European market is very competitive, and steps should be taken to ensure a company’s brand identity is protected. A company name, brand name, or logo are all valuable assets used to differentiate a company from its competitors. It is imperative that businesses operating both nationally and internationally protect their brands, and to do so European Trademark Registration is the appropriate method. A brand name and logo often become the primary way that customers and stakeholders identify a company so using a European trademark will ensure exclusive rights to the mark, preventing others from copying it.
What is an EU Trademark?
Registering a Trademark within the European Union will give a company exclusive rights to that mark within all 27 member states. This will deter any competitors from copying it – protecting a brand from infringement and counterfeiting. An EU Trademark is the most beneficial option because the registry covers all countries governed by the EU. Otherwise, an application is required within each country. For this reason, opting for an EU Trademark can offer advantages for brands hoping to expand into other countries within the EU in the future. Once a trademark has been successfully registered it is valid for a total of ten years and can be renewed thereafter.
Please Note: If a business plans to operate in the UK market, it is advised to process a trademark registration for the company’s brand assets through the UK Trademark Registry.
Recommended Steps for EU Trademark Registration.
- Run a Trademark Search – This is a necessary first step to EU Trademark Registration to ensure the mark a brand has created is not like any others in use.
- Do a culture check – This is recommended to ensure that a brand does not have any unintended meaning in another country in which they plan to operate in. A trademark must not insult or contradict anything within the countries in the EU that a brand is planning to operate in.
- Apply for the Trademark – Apply to have the trademark registered so that the brand is protected, and the investment is not lost.
What is a Trademark Search?
When a company invests in the company registration and the creation of brand assets a trademark search is necessary to ensure it is not been used elsewhere. The company will also need to ensure that its logo and name do not infringe on any existing trademark. Conducting a trademark search will also allow a company to identify similar marks that might hinder its ability to use the desired mark. An EU Trademark search would cover all trademarks registered across the EU member states.
Please Note: If a business plans to operate in the UK market, a separate UK Trademark Registry search is necessary.
Another step that can be taken to further protect a brand in the European market is registering a domain name. Once a company purchases a domain name it has exclusive ownership, and it becomes unavailable for use by competitors. This gives the brand name added protection. Registering a .EU or .com domain name when operating in the EU is the best way to show a brand’s presence within this market.Contact US