Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about trade marks.
Why a European Union trade mark (EUTM)?
The European Union trade mark system consists of one single registration procedure that gives its owner an exclusive right in the 27 Member States of the European Union.
The Office recommends that you verify the website checklist before filling an application for an EU trade mark.
Territorial scope of the EUTM
The scope of Regulation (EU) 2017/1001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on the European Union trade mark (EUTMR) extends to certain territories which have special relationships with EU Member States. The Office, together with the European Commission, sets out the situation under EU law for some of the relevant territories in the list below.
Form part of EU territory 
Ceuta and Melilla
Do not form part of EU territory 
Northern part of Cyprus
French Southern and Antarctic Lands
Wallis and Futuna
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Sint Maarten (NL)
Please note - this list is only an indicative, non-binding list for information purposes and does not claim to be complete.
 See https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/where-we-work/overseas-countries-and-territories_en and https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/territorial-status-eu-countries-and-certain-territories_en and https://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-5000500.htm#fn-mf1, and in relation to Northern part of Cyprus https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:12003T/PRO/10.
Does the EU trade mark prevail over national trade marks?
A national trade mark gives protection only in the Member State in which it has been registered, while an EU trade mark gives its owner an exclusive right in all current and future EU Member States.
It is entirely up to the applicants whether they want to obtain national, regional, EU-wide or international registration of their trade mark.
Further information on the benefits of registering a trade mark in the European Union.
Who can be the owner of an EU trade mark?
Any natural or legal person, including authorities established under public law, can be the proprietor of an EUTM.
Click here for further information on ownership.
You can also consult the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 2.1
What is a product/good or a service?
Product/good: any kind of item that may be traded.
Service: the provision of activities in accordance with human needs.
Your application for a European Union trade mark must contain a representation of the trade mark you want to register and a list of the goods and/or services to be covered by the mark (see Article 31 EUTMR for all conditions with which applications must comply or the Guidelines, Part B, Examination, Section 2, Formalities, paragraph 4 for more details).
The EUIPO has the following set of online tools available for the creation of your list of goods and services.
Can a trade mark be registered individually in each Member State if protection throughout the entire EU is not sought?
Yes, a national registration can be obtained. In the EU, there is a four-tier system for registering trade marks. What you choose depends on the needs of your business.
Further information on trade marks in the European Union.
What is the difference between a design and a trade mark?
The essential function that they perform is different.
- A design is essentially intended to determine the shape of a product.
- A trade mark is also applied to the product (see examples). The main function of a trade mark is to identify a particular trade origin in connection with specific goods and/or services.
The EUIPO has Intellectual Property (IP) courses available for all levels on the e‑learning portal.
Can I use my trade mark before it is accepted for registration?
Yes, a trade mark may be used at any stage, even before filing the application. However, this use does not guarantee the registration of the trade mark.
What does the ‘obligation to use a trade mark’ mean?
Union legislation on trade marks establishes an ‘obligation’ for the owner of a registered trade mark to use that mark in a genuine manner.
Further details on proof of use and genuine use can be found in the Guidelines, Part C, Opposition, Section 6, Proof of Use, paragraph 1.1, Function of proof of use.
Is my trade mark protected from the moment I file the application?
EU trade mark protection is obtained by registration. However, the EU trade mark application entitles the applicant to file oppositions against trade mark applications filed later that may be identical or similar to the applicant’s trade mark for identical or related goods and/or services (see FAQs on opposition).
Additionally, an EU trade mark application may be transferred, subject to rights in rem, levied in execution, involved in insolvency proceedings and licensed, among other possibilities. All changes in the Register can be found in the Guidelines, Part E, Register Operations.
Do I have to use ® or TM to show that my EU trade mark is registered?
No, there is no legal basis that makes such use compulsory. However, the proprietor of the trade mark may freely choose to use them.
What do I have to do if I do not want to use the ® or TM element?
If you want to delete that element but you have already filed the application, you must request an amendment/alteration of the EUTM. If the mark is already registered, this alteration carries a fee of EUR 200.
How to search the availability of trade marks?
Searching for trade marks before you apply is an important action to minimise any possible conflict. You can search for registered trade marks, via the Office online tools, by using two different EUIPO databases, eSearch plus and TMview.
How to track down the status of my application?
Status of current applications can be followed online through the User Area and/or eSearch plus.
EUIPO applications are published online on eSearch plus, a database that provides you with comprehensive information about trade marks, designs, owners, representatives and bulletins.
The registration process has four steps. More information.
How long does it take to register your trade mark/design?
All information about timeliness in proceedings can be found in the EUIPO Service Charter. The Office produces quarterly reports tracking the performance of different indicators, including timeliness.
How long is an EU trade mark valid?
An EU trade mark registration lasts for 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely.
More information on how to manage your EU trade mark.
What is copyright and where can I find more information about it?
Where can I find reports and studies about EU intellectual property?
Intellectual property reports and studies are available on the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights website.
What is the European trade mark and design network?
The EUIPO works together with the Europeans Union’s intellectual property offices, international organisations and user groups to harmonise the practices and tools within the European Union by creating a comprehensive European trade mark and design network.
What is a top-level domain?
A domain name is used on the internet to identify particular web pages. Every domain name has a suffix that indicates the top-level domain (TLD) to which it belongs. The TLD is the part of an internet domain name that can be found to the right of the last point.
More information about the .eu top-level domain and its variants in other scripts.