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European and international protection

How to obtain Europe-wide and international protection of your trade mark

The Community trade mark

The Community trade mark allows to obtain unitary protection in all member states of the European Union by filing a single application. Community trade marks are registered by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante (Spain).

The initial term of protection of a Community trade mark is 10 years. It can be renewed indefinitely for further 10-year periods.

Please file your application directly at the OHIM.

Further information on Community Trademarks is available from the OHIM web-site.

Application for international registration

It is possible to have a trade mark entered in an international register under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement. The application for international registration must be presented to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) through the national IP office.

The application is processed and forwarded to WIPO. WIPO checks the application, records the trade mark in the International Register if all requirements are met, and publishes the registration in the 'WIPO Gazette of International Marks'. An application for protection of the trade mark is thus deposited in each designated state. The contracting states concerned may refuse protection under their respective national legislation within one year (Madrid Agreement) or 18 months (Madrid Protocol). If protection is granted, the holder of the international registration has the same rights as an owner of a national trade mark. If the trade mark is refused in one country, protection will be maintained in the other chosen countries.

The term of protection of an international mark is 20 years under the Madrid Agreement and 10 years under the Protocol. It can be renewed indefinitely.

An application for international registration must be presented using the forms issued by WIPO. This applies as well to all other requests submitted to WIPO in relation to international registrations. Information on the Madrid system is available at http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/.

© 2014 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 22/09/14