The European Community Trademark, instituted in 1994, entitles the Applicant to a right that is equally valid in all European Union member States. The European Community Trademark is acquired, by a single procedure, with registration in the registry held by the OHIM (Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market), located in Alicante, Spain.
The European Community Trademark can be registered, transferred or cancelled, with effect throughout the European Union.
The registration has a duration of 10 years from the filing date, and is renewable indefinitely. After the registration application is filed with the OHIM, the registration procedure involves the OHIM and the National Offices (except for some countries) completing a patent search of their respective community and national trademarks.
The search report is sent to the Applicant who, according to its outcome, can decide whether to limit the application (relative to products and/or services) or withdraw it.
Following this, the European Community Trademark is published in the Official Journal of the OHIM in order to enable third parties to present any opposition to the registration, within three months, on the basis of prior rights of community trademarks and/or national trademarks.
If no opposition is filed within the three months after publication, the OHIM proceeds with the registration of the European Community Trademark, after the corresponding registration fee is paid.