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Intellectual Property Management > European Trademark Protection CTM

European Community Trademark Registration


A CTM consists of a single registration covering all the member states of the EU and existing alongside national trademark registrations.  CTM registration provides an alternative to national registrations, which are costly and cumbersome to manage.  The Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (EU trademark office) is the official body in charge of this system and is based in Alicante.  We are registered European Trademark Attorneys authorised to represent clients in Community Trademark Registrations.

Extent of Protection

Such registration covers the entire European Union, can be enforced in any one of the twenty-five member states and presents various advantages.

This could be deemed to be the main advantage of a CTM in that it facilitates both the initial registration process as well as the management of the IP owner's portfolio of IP rights. 

Other Advantages

Classification of Goods

Classification of Goods and Services - The CTM makes use of the official International Classification of Goods and Services and, unlike some national systems, multi-class applications may be filed.

Claiming Priority

Adheres to the rules of the Paris Convention for priority claims; a six-month right of priority may be claimed by an applicant based on their first application filed in a member country of the Paris Convention or the World Trade Organization Agreement.

Claiming Seniority

Upon applying for a CTM, with identical goods or services covered by the national registration, a TM owner holding an earlier national registration, may claim the seniority of the national registrations in the EU member states in which the mark is registered.

CTM Conversion into national registrations

If the registration is unsuccessful due to successful oppositions by other parties, the CTM applicant may within 3 months of such decision, file with the Office a request, together with the appropriate fee, to convert the Community Trademark application or registration to individual EU national applications, retaining the priority date of the Community Trademark application.

Registration Term

A Community Trademark has a validity period of 10 years from the date of filing and shall be renewable for additional 10-year periods.

Assignability and Licensing

CTMs may be assigned or licensed. Licenses, which may be granted in respect of some or all of the registered goods and in respect of the whole or part of the EU, and agreements affecting the title of a CTM, must be recorded at the Office to be effective against third parties.

5-Year Use

The CTM must be used within the EU within a period of 5-years from date of registration, otherwise, it may be vulnerable to attack. Use of a Community Trademark in any one EU member country will be sufficient to satisfy the use requirement for all EU member countries and use of the TM only for export constitutes valid use.

Evidently, the most important advantage of this system is its cost-effectiveness. Many times a CTM covering 25 Member States may cost as much as 5 separate TM national applications. EU-wide protection is obviously the next most important advantage. The disadvantages of utilizing a Community Registration are few.

Through our registered European Trademark Attorneys, our firm provides all services related to Community Trademark Registration, Maintenance and Renewals. We would be pleased to discuss with you the matter and devise the best strategy to consolidate your TM portfolio.


Intellectual Property Management > European Trademark Protection CTM



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