As the owner of a U.S. registered trademark, you understand and appreciate the legal protections your trademark provides. Those legal protections, however, only apply to trademark disputes within the United States. In order to gain international trademark protections, you must register your mark outside the U.S., in countries where you are currently doing business, and in those where you plan to do business in the future. Most trademark applications are approved on a country-by-country basis, but registration with the European Union will grant you legal protections in all of its 28 member countries. Here’s how to register your trademark with the EU.
How to Register a Trademark with the EU
- Consider working with an experienced trademark attorney.
- Complete a comprehensive trademark search prior to filing your trademark.
- File your application, either through the Madrid Protocol or directly with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
- Respond promptly to any Office Actions or Oppositions issued by the trademark examiner.
- Once your trademark has been registered, monitor its use within the EU.
- Renew your trademark registration every 10 years.
Before You Register
If you’ve recently registered your trademark with the USPTO, you know the number of detailed legal decisions that go into the process. From conducting a trademark search to responding to oppositions and office actions, applying for a trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, or EUIPO, can be time consuming as well. Consider working with an experienced trademark attorney from the beginning. This not only streamlines the process and increases your chances of being approved, but it also saves you time so that you can get back to the primary focus of growing your business.
In addition to working with a trademark attorney, you should also conduct a comprehensive trademark search before you apply with the EUIPO. The purpose of this trademark search is to ensure that a similar mark has not already been registered in the European Union. While the EU does not immediately reject marks similar to those that have been registered, this could slow down the process considerably, and, if the original trademark owner decides to file an opposition, your trademark application may eventually be rejected. Knowing of similar trademarks allows you the opportunity to make changes to your mark before you file your application and pay the associated fees. Failing to complete the search could cost you time and money in the long run.