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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union



With industrialisation, improved communications and the creation of global markets, today's trade marks were born in the nineteenth century. Intellectual property law was formalised: trade marks, designs, patents and copyright provided different exclusive rights for distinct types of innovation.


Early trade marks

One of the first registered trade marks of Schwan-Stabilo


One of the first registered trade marks of Bass Pale Ale brewery

United Kingdom

One of the first registered trade marks of La Rioja Alta


One of the first registered trade marks of Svenska Cellulosa



No 15870

Bass Pale Ale

No 1900-00044

La Rioja Alta

No M0006166

Svenska Cellulosa

No 1900-00044


Countries created their own trade mark registration offices, recognising that trade mark law and registers would facilitate trade by defining rights, limiting monopolies and clarifying the boundaries between marks.

The new trade mark registers were designed to enhance business confidence and provide businesses with a fast and efficient way of resolving disputes. Trade mark registration was not mandatory (and still isn't), but for companies who wanted to expand, a registered trade mark became an indispensable way of guaranteeing quality and building brands.


Trade marks became works of art.

Confetti poster from Toulouse-Lautrec, an example of how a trade mark became works of art

Intangible assets

Registered trade marks identify you to your customers, protect you against unfair competition and turn your brand into an asset. It's never been easier to get trade mark protection than today.

Page last updated 02-02-2016