EU Trademark Applications
European trademarks (formerly known as Community trademarks) cover the whole EU with a single application resulting in a single registration.
The European trademark system is very cost-effective, although it does have some drawbacks.
The EU trademark is a unitary right, meaning that it either covers the whole EU or doesn’t exist. This means that if there is a conflicting earlier right, registered or unregistered, in one EU member country then that earlier right can be used to oppose or invalidate any European trademark application/registration throughout the EU. If that happens then it is possible, at a cost, to convert the EU application/registration into separate national applications.
Currently around 20% of European trademark applications face formal opposition proceedings from earlier rights holders. Thus, if your main interest is the UK market we recommend first filing a UK application, as the opposition rate in the UK is currently around 4%.
The EU trademark is good value and is normally the best option for applicants who wish to seek trademark protection in any EU country outside of the UK.
It is worth noting that European trademark protection can be designated as a territory in a Madrid application.
For details of how EU trademarks are affected by Brexit please see our Brexit page.
Contact us for more information on EU trademark applications.