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March 31, 2021 About the EUIPO
25 years registering trade marks: the EUIPO from 1996 to 2021
1 April marks the anniversary of the first application received at the EUIPO
In April 1996, the intense work that had gone into setting up the Office, which was founded in 1994, finally came to fruition. The first Community trade marks were received, with prominent user associations such as AIPPI, ECTA, FICPI, INTA and the Magister Lucentinus as proud first filers.
It was a small world back then: the European Union (EU) had 15 Member States, the Office had a handful workers and ‘only’ 46 700 trade mark applications were received in that first year. Today, with over 1 000 staff members and 175 000 applications received in 2020 alone, the EUIPO is a key contributor to the modernisation of the intellectual property landscape in the EU.
In fact, since those early days, the Office has cut by almost 5 the average time to register a trade mark, it has become a fully-fledged digital organisation and it has transformed its physical space from a rented office in the centre of Alicante to a purpose-built campus.
Over the years, cooperation has become a mandate and a mission at the EUIPO, with the Office working with the European Commission, third countries and regions and international users to support the IP system worldwide.
More recently, the Office has taken a strong stance on helping more EU SMEs to capitalise on their innovation and creativity and protect their IP rights. In cooperation with the European Commission and the national IP offices from Member States, the EUIPO has launched an ambitious 20 million EUR SME Fund that is already helping 2 500 EU SMEs, who have applied for some 6 000 trade marks or designs at EU and national level.
1996: first CTM application received
In April 1996, the first Community trade marks were received, in quantities that surpassed even the most optimistic projections. In the first month alone, close to 22 000 trade mark applications were sent to the Office. The original prediction had been for 12 000 in the first full year of operations.