Skip to main content

EU and international trademark protection

Facilitate your European or international trademark registration and application process with expert legal advice from our lawyers!

Trademark protection benefits

  • Brand names and logos used in business by which consumers and business partners recognize the given company on the market, and by which the company can distinguish itself from others provide a competitive advantage over competing businesses.
  • Furthermore, it is an important part of the company’s marketing and advertising activities. 
  • Applying for trademark protection can secure the use of such brand names and logos, and prevent others from using your trademark. 

How long does trademark protection last?

Trademark protection lasts for 10 years and can be renewed any number of times.

EU and international trademark protection – Registration procedures 

Trademark protection can be received through three procedures: 

  1. Firstly, through an application for a national trademark before the intellectual property office of any country. In this case, the territorial scope of the protection is the country where it is registered.
  2. Secondly, before the EUIPO for an EU trademark, the territorial scope of which is the EU countries.
  3. Finally, as an international trademark application, through an application before the WIPO, that can be filed through a national intellectual property office and has to be based on an already existing trademark application or a registered trademark. In this case, the applicant has to indicate the countries in which they wish to have the trademark registered. As the next step, the WIPO reaches out to the indicated national offices and those offices conduct individual examinations according to their national legislation. 

Deciding which of the above would serve a business the best is subject to several aspects. 

Our expert trademark lawyers in Budapest can advise on this issue since we have extensive experience in such cases taking into account where and for which goods and services the mark would be used.

A final aspect that has to be carefully evaluated – as mentioned above – is the scope of the trademark protection, i.e., what goods and services to indicate in the application. Neither a too wide nor a too narrow list of goods and services is advantageous. 

  • Too wide can result in non-use, which constitutes a ground for revocation from third parties.
  • If the scope is too narrow, possible expansion or starting other activities would mean that the trademark protection would not cover those as the list of goods and services can not be extended (only by means of a new application).

All of the above are issues that require extensive consideration. We are confident in offering the services of our trademark lawyers in Budapest regarding the aspects listed above.

EU trademark definition – Application for a European scope

By definition, the EU Trademark Regulation states, that an EU trademark may consist of any signs (in particular words, including personal names, or designs, letters, numerals, colors, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds) that are capable of (a) distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings; and (b) 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.

Trademark application process – How to acquire protection

  1. It is important to note that to obtain trademark protection, the process has to be started by filing an application to either a national intellectual property office, the WIPO, or the EUIPO. Since these procedures are complex and have several issues that may need professional experience to address, we believe it is important to appoint a representative – such as a trademark lawyer – to act on behalf of the applicant before the above authorities.
  2. Moreover, for parties to proceedings before the EUIPO that do not have their domicile or their principal place of business, or a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in the
    European Economic Area (EEA – the EU countries + Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) the appointment of a professional representative having his place of business within the EEA is mandatory.
  3. Once a trademark application has been filed with one of the offices, it becomes subject to examination regarding absolute grounds for refusal.
  4. If the competent office finds no such grounds, the trademark is published, which begins a three-month period, when the proprietor of an earlier mark may file an opposition against the application.
  5. Once the three-month opposition period has lapsed without any opposition filed, or the opposition procedure has ended with a decision favorable to the applicant, the competent office registers the trademark retroactively to the date of the application.
  6. In an opposition procedure, the proprietor of the earlier mark and the applicant present arguments to defend their respective standpoints. In order to defend the application in an opposition procedure, it is vital to have a representative trademark lawyer who is familiar with the procedural and legislative environment as well as the relevant case law and who is therefore able to present a valid and successful argumentation. 

Contact our trademark lawyers in Budapest today!

Since our trademark lawyers in Budapest deal with issues like these on a day-to-day basis, we have an up-to-date and deep knowledge of the important factors and the relevant legislative and case law background needed to provide high-level, professional legal advice and assistance.

Contact Us!