TRADEMARK IN EUROPEAN UNION
Obtaining the right to an EU trademark is the right step for entrepreneurs who conduct business activities outside of Poland. It is worth remembering that when deciding to apply for such a trademark, it is not necessary to obtain the right in the Polish Patent Office in advance. You can use the EU procedure right away.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A TRADEMARK IN EU?
The certificate for the EU trademark is awarded by the EUIPO – the European Union Intellectual Property Office. As it is in the case of a trademark application in Poland, it is necessary to prepare an application documentation, a computer file with the graphic representation of a trademark to be protected (unless we want to protect a word mark) and a list of goods and services in accordance with the Nice Classification. Before EUIPO, a party may be represented by a professional EUIPO representative, who may be a patent attorney or attorney at law.
The application fee must be paid for the application and any deficiencies in the application, which were found by the Office, must be supplemented. In the event of a positive conclusion of the formal and legal examination, the Office examines the existence of absolute grounds for refusal to register the trademark. However, even in the event of a negative decision, it is possible to appeal against the EUIPO’s decision and prove the EUIPO that absolute reasons for the refusal, such as descriptiveness or lack of distinctiveness, do not exist.
WHERE EU TRADEMARK IS PROTECTED?
A mark registered in EUIPO grants an absolute right to the exclusive use of the registered trademark throughout the territory of the European Union within 10 years from the date of applying for the mark. In the case of an EU trademark, similarly to the Polish industrial property law, it is possible to extend the protection of the trademark for another ten-year-long protection period. For this purpose, fees are paid every 10 years.
CAN ONE BUY SOMEONE’S EU TRADEMARK?
A trade mark of the European Union is a property right, the transferability of which has not been legally restricted. It is therefore possible to conclude a contract, the so-called the assignment or sale of the mark. Signing trademark license agreements is also a very popular solution. All the agreements referred to above, due to their complex nature, should be drawn up by an attorney at law or a patent attorney who will ensure that the provisions contained therein comply with the law.
After the conclusion of the license agreement, it can be disclosed in the EUIPO’s registry, so other market participants were aware of the licensee’s entitlement to a trademark. Such information requires submitting a separate application form and payment of a fee.
If a trademark is concluded, the data of the new owner of the EU trademark will also be disclosed in the register.
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