Trademark

Summary
  1. Membership
    Austria Belguim Bulgaria
    Croatia Republic of Cyprus Czech Republic
    Denmark Estonia Finland
    France Germany Greece
    Hungary Ireland Italy
    Latvia Lithunia Luxemborg
    Malta Netherlands Poland
    Portugal Romania Slovakia
    Slovenia Spain Sweden
    United Kingdom
  2. Legislation
    Trademark protection in the European Union is governed by the European Union trademark Regulation and the European Union Trademark Implementing Regulation
  3. Definition
    A trademark allows customers to identify a business from another. The trade mark differentiates a product from everyone else and encapsulates businesses value as it may be the most valuable asset
  4. Criteria
    A EU trademark may consist of

      1. Sings
      2. Words
      3. Personal Names
      4. Designs
      5. Letters
      6. Numerals
      7. Colours
      8. Shape of goods
      9. Packaging of foods
      10. Sounds

    The signs must be capable of:

      1. Distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings
      2. Being represented on the Register of European Union trademarks in a manner which enables the competent authorities and the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor
  5. Membership
    Membership in the Paris Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid Protocol is to be determined by the individual countries participation in each of the treaty
  6. Rule of Priority
    The European Union practices a ‘First-to-file’ system, which recognizes the first person to file the mark which is not necessarily the first inventor
  7. Duration and Renewal
    A trademark once granted is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely in blocks of 10 years
Procedure/Timeline
  1. Application
    A complete application can be made to the European Union Intellectual Property Office
  2. Examination Period
    Once the application has been submitted, it will be subjected to examination to ensure that the application has met all the criteria. The examination include filing date, classification, formalities, absolute grounds, translation and a search to ensure that the mark has not been used by any other businesses

    Should there be any objections raised by the examiner, an official communication will be sent and the applicant has 2 months to respond to the objection either by remedy the deficiencies or by arguing a response.

    If the application is refused, the mark can be submitted on a national level, provided no conflict exists.

    Should there be no objections raised, the mark will be published in 23 EU official language. This will inform the general public that the applicant has applied for the particular mark for the goods and service stated.

  3. Opposition Period
    Once the trademark has been published, any third party who believes that the mark should not be registered can raise on opposition against the mark. Generally, the third party will raise the objection either to claim for an earlier right or a breach of absolute grounds.

    The third party can file for an opposition to the EUIPO and an admissibility check will be conducted to ensure that the opposition is filed according to the formal requirements of the Regulations.

    The parties will then be invited to send additional information and evidence to support their opposition and will later invite the applicant to submit documents to reply. Both parties have 2 months to respond from the date they were given notice. The EUIPO has the final decision.

  4. Registration
    If nobody files an opposition or the opposition has been dealt with, the trademark will be registered and the registration will be published. This is to inform other trade mark owners and the general public the mark is registered to the applicant

    The publication of the registration is free of charge and a certificate of registration is issued.

Requirements/ Documents
The following information/ documents are required for a trademark application in the European Union

  1. A request for the registration of a trademark
  2. Information identifying the applicant
  3. A list of the goods and services
  4. A representation of the trade mark
Documents
Downloadable Forms
Agents
Fee

Patent

Summary
  1. Membership
    Austria Belguim Bulgaria
    Croatia Republic of Cyprus Czech Republic
    Denmark Estonia Finland
    France Germany Greece
    Hungary Ireland Italy
    Latvia Lithunia Luxemborg
    Malta Netherlands Poland
    Portugal Romania Slovakia
    Slovenia Spain Sweden
    United Kingdom
  2. Legislation
    Patent protection within the European Union is protected by the application of the European Patent Convention also known as the Convention on the Grant of European Patents
  3. Definition
    A patent protects the rights of an invention. An invention can be a product or process or an apparatus
  4. Criteria
    In order for an invention to be patented, the invention must be new, industrially applicable and involve an inventive step
  5. Membership
    Membership in the Paris Cooperation Treaty and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is to be determined by the individual countries participation in each of the treaty
  6. Rule of Priority
    The European Union practices a ‘First-to-file’ system, which recognizes the first person to file the invention which is not necessarily the first inventor
  7. Duration and Renewal
    The maximum term for a European patent is 20 years.
Procedure/Timeline
  1. Application
    A complete application can be submitted to the European Patent Office.
  2. Formality Examination
    Once the application has been filed it will be subjected to a formalities examination first to ensure that all the necessary information and documentation has been provided. Should all the necessary documents have been submitted, a filing date will be issued.
  3. Search
    While the application is being examined on formalities, a European search report will be drawn up, listing all the documents available to the Office that may be relevant to assessing novelty and inventive step.
  4. Publication
    The application will be published 18 months after the date of filing. The application once published will allow for the applicant within 6 months to decide if the applicant is to continue pursuing the application. Should the applicant want to continue the prosecution of the invention, a request for a substantive examination is to be made

    The applicant is also to pay the necessary fee within this period.

  5. Substantive Examination
    After the request for a substantive examination has been made, the European Patent Office will examine the application to ensure that the invention meets the requirements set by the European Patent Convention. A decision will be made in regards to whether the application will be conducted
  6. Grant
    Once the decision to grant the patent has been approved, a mention of the grant will be published in the European Patent Bulletin once all translation of the claims have been filed and the fee for the grant and publication have been made. The decision to grant takes effect from the date of publication
  7. Validation
    Once the mention of the grant is published, the patent has to be validated in each of the designated sates within a specific time limit to retain the protection.
  8. Opposition
    After the patent has been granted, any third party can oppose the granting of the patent
Requirements/ Documents
The following information/documents are required for a patent application in the European Union

  1. Applicants name and address
  2. Inventors name and address
  3. A request for grant
  4. A description of the invention
  5. Claims
  6. Drawings
  7. An abstract
  8. Specifications

PCT National Phase Application
The following information/documents together with the filing fee are required to be submitting a non-provisional utility provisional application:

  1. Receipt from the International Bureau of copies of international application with any amendments to the claims, international search reports, and international preliminary examination reports may be accepted
  2. Payment of national fee
  3. Furnishing of a translation if the international application was filed in any other language other than English
  4. A copy of international application, except where not required by that Office (if necessary)
  5. Amendments, if any, to the claims in the international application. (Unless such amendments have been informed to the Patent and Trademark Office by the International Bureau, where a translation in English is provided should the amendments be made in another language)
  6. An oath or declaration of the inventor
  7. A translation into the English Language of any annexes to the international preliminary report. (If the annexes were made in another language)
Documents
Downloadable Forms
Agents
Fee

Industrial Design

Summary
  1. Membership
    Austria Belguim Bulgaria
    Croatia Republic of Cyprus Czech Republic
    Denmark Estonia Finland
    France Germany Greece
    Hungary Ireland Italy
    Latvia Lithunia Luxemborg
    Malta Netherlands Poland
    Portugal Romania Slovakia
    Slovenia Spain Sweden
    United Kingdom
  2. Legislation
    Industrial Design in the EU is governed by Directive98/71/EC on the legal protection of designs in 1998 and further added Regulation No 6/2002 on Community Design in 2002
  3. Definition
    Design is defined as an art or a science, the EU further describes that it forms our homes and our workplace and it is all around us. Design is also defines as the surface of the man-made environment
  4. Criteria
    In order for a design to be registered under the EU, the design has to be new and posses an individual character. It must also be
  5. Membership
    Membership in the Paris Cooperation Treaty and the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Design is to be determined by the individual countries participation in each of the treaty
  6. Rule of Priority
    The European Union practices a ‘First-to-file’ system, which recognizes the first person to file the design which is not necessarily the first inventor
  7. Duration and Renewal
    A Registered Community Design (RCD) is valid for 5 years and can be renewed in blocks of 5 years for up to 25 years

    An Unregistered Community Design (UCD) is protected for 3 years from the date in which the design is made available to the public and cannot be renewed.

Procedure/Timeline
  1. Application
    An application can be filed to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in which the application will then be examined
  2. Formal Examination
    A formal examination is conducted to ensure that the application fulfils the basic necessary requirements for an application to proceed. Should there be any issue with the application the issue will be communicated to the applicant.
    The applicant then has 2 months to respond to the objections raised or the application will be deemed to be abandoned
  3. Substantive Examination
    Once the application has passed the formal examination, the application will be subjected to a substantive examination which will determine if the design is a design and whether the design contains an element that goes against public policy and morality.

    The examination will not determine if the application is new or possesses individual character

  4. Registration
    If no objection arises, the design will be registered and published in the Community Designs Bulletin. The applicant will also receive a registration certificate which is issued online after the registered design has been published in full.
Requirements/ Documents
The following information/ documents are required for an industrial design application in the European Union

  1. Applicants name and address
  2. Designers name and address
  3. Clear representation
  4. Ownership
  5. The design and its product should be described clearly
Documents
Downloadable Forms
Agents
Fee