The dedicated staff of ABM, Agenzia Brevetti e Marchi [Agency for Patents and Trademarks] of Pisa, offers advice on EU trademark registration.
In January of 1996 the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in Alicante was established, where you can file a single application for the registration of a trademark valid throughout the European Union.
Filing an application for registering an EU trademark is not limited to natural and legal persons having the nationality of one of the Member States of the European Union, it is also accessible for subjects of the Member States of the Paris Convention, or that have a factory or an office in the territory of the European Union or a State party to the Paris Convention or even to citizens of countries that grant reciprocal treatment on trademarks to nationals of the Member States of the Paris Convention.
In that sense the EU system is called an open system as opposed to the closed system provided by the Madrid Agreement.
Filing an application for an EU trademark does not presuppose a prior national trademark for the same applicant; however, those who have filed for a national trademark in the previous six months can claim the priority.
The OHIM release procedure entails the following steps:
1. First examination on the Minimum Requirements, during which the Community Office verifies compliance with the prescribed minimum formal requirements (documentation, taxes, etc.). If all is correct, the Office will assign the file number.
2. Examination of Formal Requirements, during which the Office verifies that there are no absolute grounds for refusal (the trademark is not devoid of distinctiveness, it is not descriptive, deceptive, contrary to law, public order or morality, etc.).
3. Prior art search, in which the Office, on the request of the applicant and upon payment of an appropriate fee, assigns the Member States with the prior art searches.
4. Publication, during which the Office publishes information about the registration in the Bulletin of Community Trademarks; third parties have the right to file an objection to the registration within three months of the publication date.
5. Concession, during which the Office announces its intention to register the trademark, upon payment of the fee; when the payment is made, a certificate of registration is issued.
The registration is valid for from the filing date, renewable indefinitely for further ten-year periods, upon regular payment of the renewal fee. For further information please contact our offices in Pisa.