The registration process
The time taken from application to registration of a Community trade mark has fallen dramatically in recent years. OHIM's current target is to register straightforward CTM applications, for which no oppositions are filed, within 26 weeks. For further information see our service standard for timeliness.
Basic information about each process appears if you position your cursor over the relevant box
- Filing an application CTM applications can be filed either directly at OHIM or at any of the national industrial property offices
- Examination EXAMINATION of the application includes:
- granting of a filing date;
- formalities examination which includes checking the signature, languages, owner and/or representative data, priority and/or seniority claims;
- acceptance or refusal of the sign as a trade mark;
- sending of the list of goods and services to the Translation Centre for Bodies of the European Union.
- Searches The Office establishes a Community search report and transmits the application to the central industrial property offices in Member States in order for them to search in their national registers. The Office will send all reports to the applicant or its representative.
Please note that with the adoption of the Council Regulation 422/2004, the national search reports will become optional for applications filed on or after 10 March 2008. The Community search report will continue to be established and transmitted by OHIM.
- Publication If the result of the examination by OHIM is positive, the application will be published in part A of the CTM Bulletin. This gives anyone the opportunity to oppose an application.
- Opposition Any owner of an earlier similar or identical mark (which can be either a CTM or one or more national or international marks valid in one or more of the EU Member States) is a potential opponent. An opposition can be filed by a third party within three months of the publication of the CTM application.
- Registration The CTM will proceed to registration if no opposition has been filed or if the opposition concludes in favour of the applicant. The registration procedure consists of:
- publication of the registered trade mark in part B of the CTM Bulletin;
- issue of the registration certificate.
- Invalidity/Revocation Throughout a Community trade mark's life, the rights of its proprietor may be revoked following revocation proceedings, or the Community trade mark may be declared invalid following invalidity proceedings. The Office has exclusive jurisdiction with regard to direct revocation or invalidity applications filed with OHIM.
- Representation before the OHIM To ensure that the Office and its clients can communicate easily, it is necessary for the Office to know the correct person to contact. In some cases it is mandatory to appoint a representative to act on your behalf.
- Inspection of files and copies CTM files can be inspected upon request
- Changes to the Register At any stage of the registration process, different types of inscriptions can be made in the Register (transfers, withdrawals, surrenders, licences and so on)
- Appeal Any final decision by one of the Office's bodies, in so far as it has adversely affected one party, is subject to appeal on the initiative of that party. The appeal is brought before the Office's Boards of Appeal.
- Mediation OHIM offers a mediation service in inter partes proceedings, following the decision of the first instance and in parallel to appeal proceedings (which shall then be suspended, when appropriate), allowing the parties to reach an amicable settlement without the requirement of a decision from the Boards on the substance.