The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
Since 1 October 2004, it has been possible to designate the European Union (EU) in an international application. By designating the EU in an international application (or in a subsequent designation), you can obtain protection with the same effects as a direct Community trade mark application. You can of course also continue to protect your trade marks by filing an application for an international registration via your own national office, designating the countries and territories where coverage is required. Either of these routes is available via the Madrid system, which includes most European countries and is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.
The International Bureau of WIPO registers international applications and then notifies OHIM of the designation of the European Union.
This notification triggers an 18-month time limit within which OHIM must notify WIPO of any provisional refusal of protection based on absolute or relative grounds. If the designation is accepted, OHIM issues two Statements for Grant of Protection, one after the absolute grounds examination and the other after the opposition period has ended with no oppositions filed.