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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

Application and Registration Procedure


Any natural person or legal entity from any country in the world can file an application. However, applicants based outside the EEA/EU are reminded that any proceedings before the Office require the appointment of a representative from inside the EU/EEA. Any applications not fulfilling these requirements will generate an objection letter. It is therefore highly recommended that the appointment is made at the time of filling to avoid formalities deficiencies and a possible loss of rights. More information.

EU trade mark applications can only be filed at the EUIPO. Filing is possible using any of the following means:
  • e‑filing — online applications via User Area,
  • by post,
  • by special courier service.

No. Applications can be submitted using electronic means (including the EUIPO online tools as specified in Question How to apply for a European Union trade mark), by post or by courier. No document intended for a specific file is accepted via email.

The EU trade mark application can be filed in any of the 23 languages of the European Union as the ‘first language‘.
In addition, a second language must be selected from the following five Office languages: English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. The second language must differ from the first language chosen and will be used as a language for possible opposition and/or cancellations proceedings.

The filing date will either be later than the date of actual receipt of the application at the Office or will be denied altogether. The EUIPO will issue a deficiency letter to comply with the missing requirements within a period of 2 months. This time limit is not extendable. Once complied with, the filing date of the application will become the date on which all mandatory information is complete, including the payment. If the requirements are not complied with (see Article 31 EUTMR for all conditions with which applications must comply, or the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 4 for all details), the EUTM application will not be treated as an application for an EUTM (‘deemed not filed’) and all fees already paid will be reimbursed.

In our Forms and Filings page you will find all our online forms, as well as the PDF forms for those services not yet covered by an online solution.
Correspondence regarding a specific file must always be filed via:
  • User Area
  • post
  • special courier service
  • hand delivery (*).
Please always mention the file number.
* Hand delivery: please fill out and bring our Document Delivery Receipt in duplicate for each file you would like to submit. Note that as from 1 October 2017, personal deliveries of any document related to EU trade marks are no longer acceptable. Any such document submitted by personal delivery will be deemed not to have been received.
In the event of inconsistency or discrepancy between the English version and any other linguistic versions of this publication, the English language version will prevail.
For more information, please consult the FAQs on the new EU trade mark regulation.

Every EUTM application must contain a list of goods and services as a condition for a filing date to be accorded. The list must be classified in accordance with the Nice Agreement. The Nice Classification assigns goods to Classes 1 to 34, and services to Classes 35 to 45. Each class is represented by a class heading, which gives general information about the type of goods or services covered.
It is very important to apply for the classes of goods and services aligned with your business because it will have a direct influence on how protected your EU trade mark is.
More information regarding the Nice Classification can be found on the website of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) at http://www.wipo.int

When filing an electronic application, users can select preapproved terms to build their list of goods and services. These terms originate from the Harmonised Database (HDB) and will automatically be accepted for classification purposes. Using these preapproved terms will facilitate a smoother trade mark registration process. The HDB brings together terms that are accepted for classification purposes in all EU offices.
Before filing an application users can:
  • search the content of the HDB using the Office’s TMclass tool;
  • use the Goods and Services builder, which will guide them through the process of creating their list of goods and services on the basis of terminology from the HDB.

Yes, any sign that fulfils the requirements of the EU trade mark regulation can be registered as a trade mark. By registering your company name and/or logo you would obtain better protection of your brand and reputation. The registration allows you to prevent third parties from using or registering trade marks that are the same or confusingly similar to those of your business.

In the event of an internet domain name dispute, please consult WIPO ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution).

No. The original list of goods and services included in an EU trade mark application cannot be extended, only limited. In other words, you cannot add products or classes to the application originally filed unless you file a new application for the same trade mark comprising the additional classes.

At the time of filing only one class is covered by the basic application fee. If you wish to include more than one class of goods or services, a fee is payable for each additional class. More information.
If you would like to add new classes of goods and/or services after your EU trade mark application has been registered, you are required to file a new EU trade mark application with the new classes you would like to cover.
More information on classes of goods and/or services.

Only minor alterations can be made as long as they do not substantially change the mark.
The Office’s practice on amendments of the mark representation is very strict. Please consult the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 15 for further details.

To have your application examined swiftly, you should do the following.
  • Pay upfront — if you are paying via current account, please note you will need to accept to be debited immediately. If you are paying via bank transfer, you have to make the transfer immediately after the application’s submission. Please use the transaction banking code supplied in the receipt.
  • Use the prepared form to be taken to your bank (to be found in your confirmation receipt once you have filed the application).
  • Comply with the conditions of Fast Track* by selecting the adequate goods and services (please consult the Harmonised Database for more information).

* If no objections are found during the examination procedure your file will be treated more quickly.

Further information regarding the whole registration process, which includes the process until publication.


Yes, you can. However, the Office will notify you requesting the appointment of a representative within a time limit if you are filing from outside the EEA ( European Economic Area).
Additional information:

The Office will refuse your trade mark application if it is believed not to fulfil certain requirements, also called absolute grounds.

Article 7 EUTMR lists the absolute grounds for refusal. Trade mark applications that are not refused at this stage are published. See the full registration workflow.

The absolute grounds of refusal are to be distinguished from the relative grounds for refusal, which is only examined if, after the publication of the EUTM application, one or more oppositions are filed by any third party on the basis of one or more conflicting earlier rights, such as a prior trade mark.

The EUIPO will not examine relative grounds for refusal ex officio. These may be raised only by third parties in opposition proceedings or in cancellation proceedings, after registration of the EU trade mark. Find out what the corresponding fees are and see the differences by selecting the ‘opposition’ tab on the Registration process page.

Yes. The Office refuses an EU trade mark application if a ground for refusal exists only in part of the European Union. If, for example, the trade mark consists of the designation of the product in one official language of a Member State of the European Union, the Office will refuse the EU trade mark application.
Earlier rights, raised in an opposition or in an application for a declaration of invalidity, prejudice the registration of an EU trade mark, even if they only exist in one Member State of the European Union. But cases where an application must be refused because the mark constitutes a non-distinctive or a descriptive or generic term in only one language of the European Union (and not one of their major world trading languages) are not so frequent. The opposition or invalidity procedure before the EUIPO will, in such cases, offer ample leeway for an amicable settlement.

Further information on the use and defence of your EU trade mark.

An EU trade mark application that has been refused, or an EU trade mark that has been declared invalid or revoked, may be converted into a national trade mark application in all the Member States of the European Union in which the ground for refusal does not apply. The ensuing national trade mark application will retain the filing date of the EU trade mark application.

Conversion is a procedure that can be applied to European Union trade marks (EUTMs) and to international registrations (IRs).

If an EU trade mark ceases to exist, it can be converted into trade marks that are valid in certain Member States. Conversion is particularly useful for overcoming possible problems with the EUTM’s unitary character.

For example, if the European Union trade mark faces a registrability problem in only one or certain countries on absolute grounds or due to an opposition based on an earlier right valid in only one country or certain countries, the EUTM applicant can apply to convert the EUTM into individual, national trade mark applications in the other countries not affected by these grounds.

International registrations can be converted into national trade mark applications of EU Member States and into a designation of contracting parties to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

See the Guidelines, Part E, Register Operations, Section 2, Conversion for further details.

Conversion of IRs designating the EU is not to be confused with ‘transformation’, which is a legal feature introduced by the Madrid Protocol (MP) in order to soften the consequences of the 5-year dependency period existing under the Madrid Agreement.
Transformation allows for a centrally attacked mark to be transformed into a direct EUTM application but it does not allow for the conversion of an EU designation into national filings.
Further details on the principles and formalities of conversion can be found in the Guidelines, Part E, Register Operations, Section 2, Conversion and Part M, International Marks.

To have your application processed as Fast Track, you will need to pay at the moment of filing or immediately afterwards if you pay by bank transfer (more details on bank transfers and the list of Fast Track conditions). You will also need to use the EUIPO database of pre-accepted terms for classification purposes, the HDB.

The Five-step form has been designed for the Fast Track, so it has mandatory fields and default options that ensure your application will be processed as swiftly as possible.

Our Advanced form has been designed to alert you when your application is Fast Track and when it is not. If your application does not fulfil any of the Fast Track conditions, the form will flag this up. You can then decide whether to make the corrections indicated in the form, or just proceed with a regular application. Standard applications are normally published 8 to 11 weeks after payment.

If your trade mark application fulfils the Fast Track conditions, you will see a Fast Track logo appearing above your trade mark’s timeline in eSearch plus.

Although some applications may comply with the conditions of Fast Track at the time of filing, they may lose their Fast Track status later on. This can be due to a deficiency found during the absolute grounds’ examination, for example, late payment, a request for a limitation of goods and services or other deficiencies such as an issue with the representative.

See the full list of Fast Track conditions.

Applicants or representatives may indicate their own reference of no more than 20 characters in the space provided in the application form, for example, initials, a string of letters, digits, etc. This reference can be useful for you to distinguish different applications you filed.

An ‘ID number’ is a number allocated by the Office to identify applicants and representatives.

Once the applicant or representative has already been allocated an ‘ID number’ by the EUIPO, it is sufficient to indicate that ID number together with the name of the applicant/representative in future applications.

Without an ID number, all applicants’/representatives’ fields must be completed.

You can track down the ID numbers when you search for your trade mark in the EUIPO online databases, eSearch plus or TMview.

You can file an application by:

Once your application has been validated, the system will create an EUTM application number for you.

An EU trade mark may consist of any sign, in particular words, including personal names, or designs, letters, numerals, colours, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds, provided that such signs are capable of:
  • distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, and
  • being represented in a manner that enables the competent authorities and the public to determine the subject matter of protection with clarity and precision.
The representation of the signs must be in a form that uses generally available technology that can be reproduced on the register in a clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective manner. Learn more about the file formats accepted by the EUIPO when filing a trade mark. You can also refer to the decision No EX‑17‑6 of the Executive Director of the Office of 22/09/2017 concerning technical specifications for annexes submitted on data carriers.

The European Union trade mark implementing regulation (EUTMIR) lays down specific rules and requirements for the most common types of trade marks.

More examples of trade marks and their types can be found on our website.

The filing receipt will only mention that a figurative mark has been filed. This is because the term ‘figurative mark’ covers ‘composite’ or ‘stylised’ marks, ‘word + logo’, etc. (check our website for Figurative mark examples). In accordance with the practice of the EUIPO, a mark is figurative when it consists of:
  • exclusively figurative elements;
  • a combination of verbal and figurative or otherwise graphical elements;
  • verbal elements in non-standard fonts;
  • verbal elements in colour;
  • verbal elements on more than one line;
  • letters from non-EU alphabets;
  • signs that cannot be reproduced by a keyboard;
  • combinations of the above.
In the application form, ‘figurative mark with word elements’ has been added in order to allow the applicant to key in the word elements.
Further information regarding EU trade mark legal texts.

No, what is protected is the combination of both as seen in the mark representation as a whole. Please check our website for examples.

Figurative mark.

It is no longer possible to indicate the colours appearing in a figurative EU trade marks.

It is no longer obligatory to add a description to any type of EU trade mark. Descriptions are optional in Article 3 of European Union trade mark implementing regulation (EUTMIR) for position marks, pattern marks, colour marks consisting of a combination of colours and motion marks. For these marks, where the representation is accompanied by a description, that description must accord with the representation and must not extend its scope.

Yes, you can withdraw your application at any time but the fees, if already paid, will not be reimbursed unless a withdrawal is received on the same day as the application is filed (GMT +1). There is no extra charge for withdrawing. The withdrawal can be requested directly in eSearch plus by selecting the type of e‑action under ‘actions and communications’ of the EUTM.

The declaration should be clear and unambiguous, for example, ‘I withdraw EU trade mark application number XYZ’.

As the Office does not have a paper form for the withdrawal of an EU trade mark application, sending a communication from your User Area or a letter (emails are not accepted) can also be done.

There are three kinds of EUTMs, individual, collective or certification marks.

A collective mark can be any type of mark (e.g. word, figurative, 3D, etc.), provided that it belongs to a legal person under public law or to an association and it is used to distinguish the goods and services of the members of that association from those of other undertakings. Only associations of manufacturers, producers, suppliers of services or traders, as well as legal persons governed by public law, may apply for European Union collective marks.

No, ‘collective’ does not mean that the mark belongs to several persons (co-applicants/co-owners) or that it designates/covers more than one country (the EU trade mark system covers all EU countries automatically).

Under the European Union trade mark regulation (EUTMR), there are specific provisions on the protection of collective marks. Being an indication to serve to designate the geographical origin of the goods or services is not an obstacle for the registration of a collective mark. This is in contrast to an individual EU trade mark, where such a geographical indication cannot be registered.

An applicant for a collective mark has to submit regulations governing its use within 2 months of the date of filing.
You can find further information under Articles 74 to 82 of the European Union trade mark regulation (EUTMR) and in the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 4, Absolute Grounds for Refusal, Chapter 15, European Union Collective Marks.

Yes, the basic fee for an EU collective mark filed electronically costs less than an EU collective mark filed using paper form.

For further information about the different costs, please consult the fees payable directly to the EUIPO page.

Priority may be claimed of one or more previous trade mark applications, namely a national (or Benelux) application filed in or for a State party to the Paris Convention, a member of the WTO, a State for which the Commission has confirmed reciprocity, or an EU trade mark application.

The ‘convention priority’ right is a right limited in time, which is triggered by the first regular filing of a trade mark. A regular national filing is any filing that is adequate to establish the date on which the application was filed in the country concerned, whatever the subsequent fate may be of the application (Article 4(3) of the Paris Convention). It may be claimed during the 6 months following the first filing.

Priority claims must be filed together with the EU trade mark application or in a separate communication filed on the same date as the EUTM application. Further details on the principles and formalities of ‘convention priority’ claims can be found in the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 15, (Convention) Priority, and in the specific section of the legislative reform FAQs.

Priority claims must be filed together with the EU trade mark application and must include the date, number and country of the previous application.

It must be taken into account that the Office will publish the priority claim ‘as filed’, meaning that the Office will not confirm the validity of the priority claim.

For information concerning the evidence to be provided (copy of relevant first application, language and time limits) when claiming priority or seniority, see Decision No EX‑05‑5 of the President of the Office of 01/06/2005.

For further explanation consult the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities.
Please access our Advanced form for more information on how to add a priority claim to your online application.

If an applicant for an EU trade mark has displayed goods or services under the mark applied for at an officially recognised exhibition, the applicant can claim exhibition priority within 6 months of the first display. Evidence of the display must be filed.
Further details on the principles and formalities of ‘exhibition priority’ claims can be found in the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 16, Exhibition Priority.

If applicants or proprietors of a European Union trade mark already hold a prior identical national or international trade mark registration with effect in one or several Member States for identical goods and services, they may claim the seniority of that mark in the EU trade mark application, within 2 months of its filing, or any time after registration of the EU trade mark, preserving their prior rights even if they do not renew their earlier mark.
Further details on the principles and formalities of seniority claims can be found in the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 17, Seniority.

The documents in support of the claim must be, in principle, submitted within 3 months of the date from which seniority is claimed.
For information concerning the evidence to be provided when claiming priority or seniority, see Decision No EX‑05‑5 of the President of the Office of 01/06/2005.
For further explanation consult the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities.
Please access the Advanced form for more information on how to add a seniority claim to your online application.

The right of priority has the effect that the date of priority will count as the date of filing of the EU trade mark application for the purposes of establishing which rights take precedence.
Seniority has the sole effect under the EU trade mark regulation that, where the proprietor of the European Union trade mark surrenders the earlier trade mark or allows it to lapse, the proprietor will be deemed to continue to have the same rights as he or she would have had if the earlier trade mark had continued to be registered.
Note that seniority may only be claimed for an earlier registration, not for an earlier application.

It is the date on which the EU trade mark is entered in the Register of European Union trade marks (before giving the go-ahead for publication of the registration in the European Union Trade Marks Bulletin (EUTM Bulletin). On the certificate of registration, this date follows the word ‘Registered’ in the bottom left-hand corner of the first page.
The registration of an EU trade mark will confer on the proprietor exclusive rights therein. The rights conferred by an EU trade mark will prevail against third parties from the date of publication of the registration of the trade mark.

For more information concerning EU trade mark registration procedure, please visit the Registration process page.

The procedure for the registration of an EUTM is composed of three main parts:
  1. examination of the application,
  2. opposition (only if the application for EU trade mark has been subject to an opposition),
  3. registration.

A European Union trade mark (EUTM) is valid for 10 years. It can be renewed indefinitely, for 10 years at a time. Six months before expiry of the registration the EUIPO will inform the owner, their representative or any other registered rights holder, in writing, that the registration is due for renewal. Failure to give such information does not affect the expiry of the registration and does not involve the responsibility of the Office.
A request for renewal can be submitted online using the renewal request form.

For more information concerning renewals of EU trade marks, please consult:

Acquired distinctiveness is a claim that can be made when registering a trade mark that is not distinctive per se but that has become distinctive as a consequence of its use on the market.
To be registered, a trade mark should be ‘inherently distinctive’, that is, it should be distinctive, non‑descriptive and should not consist of words or signs that are customary in everyday language. However, as an exception to this rule, a sign can be registered if the applicant submits evidence of acquired distinctiveness of the mark by use. In this case, they will need to prove that at least a significant proportion of the relevant public perceives the sign as a trademark (i.e. that they identify the goods and services claimed in the application as originating from a particular undertaking).
The Office will only examine the acquired distinctiveness of a trade mark when it is explicitly requested by the applicant, never of its own motion. The claim of acquired distinctiveness has to be filed either as a subsidiary claim or as a principal claim.
For more information, please consult our Guidelines.

If you file a principal claim, the Office will decide on the distinctiveness of the sign itself and on the acquired distinctiveness by use at the same time. One single decision will be issued covering both aspects. This decision can be appealed.
If you file a subsidiary claim, the examination of the application will be divided into two phases. First, the Office will decide only on the distinctiveness of the sign itself, and when this decision becomes final, it will then deal only with the claim of acquired distinctiveness and take a formal decision on this aspect. Each decision is appealable in its own right and according to its respective deadline.
It is up to the applicant to decide which type of claim to submit. This depends on his or her interests, for example, the swiftness of the registration proceedings, the difficulties in gathering evidence to support the claim of acquired distinctiveness by use, or even the importance of having a final decision on the inherent distinctiveness of the mark.
For more information, please consult our Guidelines.

The Office examines the alleged acquired distinctiveness of a trade mark only upon an explicit claim from the applicant.
Claims can be made in the application for registration, or as long as the time period to submit observations in reply to the first objection letter of the Office has not expired.
The claim itself is not sufficient; it has to be clearly and precisely identified as being principal or subsidiary. If the type of claim is not clear, the Office will issue a deficiency letter and give a time limit to the applicant to clarify.
For more information, please consult our Guidelines.

If the claim was filed with the application, when the Office raises an objection to the mark, the applicant will be invited to submit the relevant evidence and its observations on the objection within a specific deadline.
If the applicant makes a principal claim in response to the first objection letter, but does not submit evidence at the same time, the Office will issue a communication requesting the applicant to file the evidence within 2 months.

If you have filed a subsidiary claim, the examination of the application is divided into two phases. Once the first phase has been closed, that is, the decision on inherent distinctiveness is final, and taking into account all the possibilities for appeal, the Office will launch the second phase on the acquired distinctiveness of the mark by informing the applicant of the resumption of proceedings and setting a time limit for the submission of evidence of use.

*Please note that the contact form is only for requesting information. Anything you send us through this channel will not be considered within a specific trade mark or design file. If you need to communicate on a specific file, please use the respective e-action in the User Area. If you do not see an option that matches your need, please select the ‘Communication back up’ option (the link only works if you are logged into the User Area).

The questions and answers provided on this page serve a purely informative purpose and are not a legal point of reference. Please consult the European Union Trade mark and Community Design Regulations or Trade mark / Design Guidelines for further details.

For more information about how the Office handles your personal data, please consult the Data protection notice.

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