a single file to be managed.It is a simpleprocedure and applications may be made both at national industrial property offices or directly to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in Alicante.
3º Reduced costs
This simplification results in considerably reduced costs as compared with the overall costs of national registration in all or many of the countries of the European Union.
Filing a Community trade mark application is not expensive.
The registration fee only needs to be paid once no obstacles remain to the trade mark being granted.
4º Option of claiming the seniority of national trade marks
The Community trade mark has been designed to complement the national systems of protection. If applicants or proprietors of a Community trade mark already hold a prior identical national trade mark for identical goods and services they may claim the seniorityof that mark. This allows them to preserve their prior rights even if they surrender their national trade mark or do not renew it.
5º Right of priority
The Community trade mark complements the national systems of trade mark protection. The filing date accorded to a Community trade mark is recognised as constituting a date of priority for both national and international trade marks.
This applies equally where applicants decide to convert their application or registered Community trade mark into national applications. There is therefore no risk involved in deciding immediately to opt for a Community trade mark.
6º Obligation of use which is easy to meet
A Community trade mark may be maintained in all the countries of the European Union by using it effectively and genuinely in a single Member State. Any company, even if it wishes to use its trade mark in one or in a few Member States only, may therefore validly obtain a Community trade mark without having to fear revocation proceedings on the grounds of lack of use.
7º Broadened legal protection which is accessible to all
Infringement proceedings may be brought before the Community trade mark courts, which are national courts designated by the Member States to have jurisdiction in respect of Community trade marks. Decisions have effect throughout the EU. This avoids the need to prosecute infringers in each Member State. Only the Community trade mark has such protection in the whole of the European Union.
8º An extended range of options for exercising rights under the trade mark
The option to transfer and assign Community trade marks is essential for the management of companies.
A Community trade mark may be transferred, separately from any transfer of the undertaking which is its proprietor, in respect of some or all of the goods or services for which it is registered.
A Community trade mark may also be licensed for the whole or part of the European Union. A licence may be exclusive or non-exclusive.
9º Community trade marks as prior rights in all the countries of the European Union
Community trade marks constitute prior rights in relation to all subsequent trade marks and other conflicting rights in all Member States. This allows proprietors of Community trade marks not only to protect their exclusive rights at Community level but also to prevail over later national rights.
10º The prospect of enlargement
The enlargement of the European Union to include new Member States will result in a European Union of 27 Member States. It is provided for the automatic extension of all existing Community trade mark applications and registrations, while limiting the possibility to attack them on grounds that become applicable merely as a result of the accession.
The Community trade mark therefore is not only a gateway to the existing single market but also to a market in the process of expansion.
Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market 18.3.07