A CTM (Community Trade Mark) is effective across all 27 states of the European Union.
However as it has unitary effect, that is recognised in all 27 states, if your trade mark registration application fails in one state then your application for a CTM will fail.
Benefit of a Community Trade Mark
The big benefit of the community trade mark procedure is that it allows
- A single application for all 27 EU states and any new members
- A single administrative centre
- One language to be dealt with
- Very cost effective compared to registering a national trade mark in a number of countries.
Should your application for a CTM fail you do have the option of applying to register in individual states but clearly this will require lawyers or agents in many different countries and other costs such as translation of documents, many administrative centres and files to deal with.
Maintaining your CTM
In order to maintain your community trade mark you will have to use it in at least one member state within 5 years of registration but using it in only one member state will allow you to maintain your CTM across the European community. (See also trade marks in Ireland)
Enforcing your CTM
To enforce your CTM there are essentially two avenues open to you-
- Issue proceedings at the Community trade mark courts
- File requests with EU customs offices to retain allegedly counterfeit goods under their control.
The whole system of CTM (community trade marks) is administered by the OHIM (Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market) in Alicante, Spain.
Priority of an earlier national trade mark
If you are the owner of a national trade mark for the CTM application that you now wish to make then you can claim the priority of that previous mark in your CTM application which safeguards your previous trade mark rights even if you choose not to renew the national mark.
CTM application fees
The application fee for a CTM is €900 if you do it online and €1,050 for a paper based application and this includes 3 classifications or classes of goods/services. Each extra classification costs €150.
Keep in mind that you will also have additional professional fees for a solicitor/lawyer/trade mark agent.
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