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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

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Trade mark definition

Trade marks are signs used in trade to identify products.

Your trade mark is the symbol your customers use to pick you out. It distinguishes you from your competitors. You can protect and build upon your trade mark if you register it.

In some countries, you can also get protection even if your trade mark is not registered, as long as it is used. However, you are well advised to register it in order to obtain the best protection.

The only condition imposed on a registered trade mark is that it must be clearly defined; otherwise neither you nor your competitors will be certain of what it covers. 

At EUIPO you can register

Word mark icon formed by the A letter

Word mark

A word mark consists exclusively of words or letters, numerals, other standard typographic characters or a combination thereof that can be typed

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Figurative mark icon formed by a polygon

Figurative mark

It is a trade mark where non-standard characters, stylisation or layout, or a graphic feature or a colour are used, including marks that consist exclusively of figurative elements

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Figurative mark with letters icon formed by a polygon with the A letter inside it

Figurative mark containing word elements*

A figurative mark consisting of a combination of verbal and figurative elements

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3 D mark icon formed by a three-dimensional polyhedron

Shape mark

A shape mark consists of, or extends to, a three-dimensional shape. It can include containers, packaging, the product itself or its appearance.

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Colour per se mark formed by a sample of a color palette

Shape mark containing word elements*

A shape mark that contains verbal elements.

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Sound mark icon formed by a speaker

Position mark

A position mark consists of the specific way in which the mark is placed or affixed to the product.

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Word mark icon formed by the A letter

Pattern mark

A pattern mark consists exclusively of a set of elements which are repeated regularly.

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Figurative mark icon formed by a polygon

Colour (single) mark

A colour single mark is just that – a trade mark which consists exclusively of a single colour (without contours).

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Figurative mark with letters icon formed by a polygon with the A letter inside it

Colour (combination) mark

A trade mark which consists exclusively of a combination of colours (without contours)

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Word mark icon formed by the A letter

Sound mark

A sound mark consists exclusively of a sound or a combination of sounds.

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Figurative mark icon formed by a polygon

Motion mark

A trade mark consisting of, or extends to, a movement or a change in the position of the elements of a mark.

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Figurative mark with letters icon formed by a polygon with the A letter inside it

Multimedia mark

It consists, or extends to, the combination of images and sound.

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Word mark icon formed by the A letter

Hologram mark

This is a new category of trade mark (as and from 1 October 2017). Hologram marks consist of elements with holographic characteristics.

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*Note: The trade mark types marked with an asterisk are not separate categories under the EU trade mark Implementing Regulation. They are however differentiated in the e-filing for practical and technical reasons.

 

A little bit of theory

Intellectual Property

The concept behind intellectual property (IP) is straightforward and has been with us for a long time. Wherever we go, we are surrounded by intellectual property.

Mere thoughts and ideas do not qualify; intellectual property defines and protects human innovations and creations

  • Trade marks signal the origin of products to consumers
  • Designs specify how products look
  • Copyright relates to artistic creations, such as books, music, paintings, sculptures and films
  • Patents protect technical inventions in all fields of technology

Intellectual property rewards innovators and enables everyone to benefit from their achievements.

 

Download this map – it will help you register your rights.


An adaptation of the metro map concept representing the timelines of the different Intellectual property processes

 

 

More resources on IP

 

Page last updated 22-09-2017
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