Trademark and Design protection in the European Union with the help of a professional representative at the EUIPO, a European trademark attorney

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states in Europe. The EU comprises 27 Member States and recognizes 24 official languages. The euro is the official currency of 20 EU countries. These countries are known as the euro area. The total value of all goods and services produced (gross domestic product or GDP) in the EU in 2021 was €14.5 trillion. The EU27 accounts for around 14% of the world’s trade in goods. The EU, China, and the United States are the three largest global players in international trade. In 2021, the EU accounted for €4,300 billion in total global trade. Intra-EU trade was valued at €6,786 billion in 2021. All the above-mentioned facts represent the attractiveness of the EU market. Many market players are protecting their business assets in the EU, particularly intellectual property, which plays a crucial role in securing innovative solutions in the market. Therefore, the EU established an agency responsible for the registration of trademarks and designs for the whole European Union. The agency is called The EU Intellectual Property Office manages EU trademark and design rights, EUIPO.

European trademarks

A trademark is an intellectual asset of each company, which links a product with its originator. It helps customers identify the origin of goods and/or services and prevents counterfeits from overtaking the market. Therefore, legal protection by the trademark is essential for a business if commercial success is demanded. It is better to register your trademark in advance than to challenge a trademark dispute later.

Assistance by a European Trademark Attorney

On average, the EUIPO receives and examines over 150,000 trademark and 90,000 design applications annually. Usually, the applications are filed and prosecuted by a professional representative, who are European Trademark Attorneys. These professional representatives assist clients by drafting trademark or design applications based on their needs and help them with the prosecution process before the Office. The European Trademark Attorneys represent the clients and, if the attorney is appointed, communicate with them, not the applicant. This is also beneficial for the applicant since the official communications are usually written in the official-legal language which may not be understood by the applicant. The European Trademark Attorney is trained to recognize objections and help you with the solution. Furthermore, the professional representative before the EUIPO can conduct searches for trademark availability.

The EUIPO is responsible not only for trademark and design registration in the European Union but also for trademark opposition, cancellation, and revocation proceedings. The similar proceeding applies to registered community design. In each step of each proceeding, formalities, such as obligatory representation by a European Trademark Attorney, are checked. For some applicants, such as those from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, or China, representation before the EUIPO is obligatory.

European Union Trademarks are enforced by a national court of member states. The enforcement proceeding, litigation, is also usually conducted by the European Trademark Attorney. They are assisting also in preparing and sending a warning letter to an infringer. The help during negotiation or handling disputes and litigation resulting from trademark infringements and unfair competition is also a part of the trademark attorneys’ work.

Among other things, the European trademark attorney can help you with licensing and transfer agreements and registration thereof at the European Union Intellectual Property Office.