In the United Kingdom, there is no legal obligation
to register a trade mark but continued use of the mark
might be blocked by a later user who does secure a valid registration
in good faith.
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A Community Trade Mark covers all member states of the European Union. Again, Trade Marks must be registered for specified goods or services, and official fees must be paid, dependant on number of classes claimed. An application typically costs around £900.00 including official fees. This compares very favourably with the cost of seeking protection in each individual member state of the European Union.
Registration must be refused if the trade mark is a simple descriptive or laudatory term. We are allowed to argue against any formal objection. The Examiners also notify us if the trade mark is thought similar to any prior trade mark on the CTM Register but will not refuse the mark on this basis unless the proprietor of the earlier trade mark brings successful opposition proceedings.
Cost of processing an application to the point of registration can be broadly similar to the UK but the risk of third party intervention is higher because objection can come from the owner of any earlier right in the whole EU. Following acceptance the application is published for opposition before it can proceed to registration upon payment of registration fees. These depend on number of classes claimed and the value of the euro (in which they are paid) but typically will be around £1100 including official fees and our services for the attendant formalities.
If the mark is refused because of some formal objection, it may be possible to convert it on payment of additional fees, into a series of National applications covering one or more individual state of the European Union.
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