A registered trademark is a valuable asset for any brand. Your U.S. trademark, however, only protects you in legal disputes within the United States. To gain legal protection for your mark outside the U.S., you must register your trademark in other countries. Whether your online retail store reaches customers in Italy or your software firm is looking to expand to Paris, you may want to consider trademark registration in the European Union. With 28 member countries, an EU registration is a simple way to start your international trademark plan.
When beginning the process, you have several different options for registration. The first is the Madrid Protocol, which allows you to file a single application, which can then be applied to its more than 90 member countries. If you plan to register in countries outside the EU as well, this may be the best option for you because it will help keep your filing cost down. With this in mind, here are the six steps that are typically required to obtain a trademark registration in the European Union:
How do you Register a Trademark in the EU?
- Conduct a trademark search.
- File your trademark application with the EUIPO.
- EUIPO initiates examination period.
- Publication in the EU Trademark Bulletin.
- A trademark is issued.
- Monitor and renew your trademark.
Step One: Conduct a Trademark Search
Once you’ve chosen a strong trademark, you will begin the process to register your mark with the EU. The first step in this process is to conduct a comprehensive trademark search. The reason for this search is to determine whether a similar mark has already been registered in the EU before you begin the task of applying with the EUIPO. While it can be frustrating to learn that your trademark has already been registered, knowing before you file will save you both time and money, and you’ll have the ability to make some changes to your mark before you file your application.
Free and DIY online searches may seem like a budget-friendly option, but they are not recommended. These are likely to reveal only exact matches to your trademark. Most trademark disputes, however, arise, not from exact matches to a mark, but from marks that may provide a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. To avoid the potential for application rejection or future infringement, it is best to work with an experienced trademark attorney.