Where can I apply for a trade mark registration?

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Trade mark  protection is territorial by nature, i.e. the geographic scope of protection for trade marks is limited and depends on the place of registration. Hence, it is advised that you consider applying for protection for your brand in all territories of your commercial interest. E.g. think not only about intended markets of distribution of a product, but also about the place it is manufactured.

Note that trade mark protection can be obtained in few alternative ways – depending on the brand characteristics and planned commercial strategy - it can be registered as:

·         a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) for the entire European Union by filing a unique application at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO);

·         as a national title, applied for separately in respective counties of interest;

·         an international registration at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which is equivalent to a bundle of national registrations;

If you wish to register a trade mark which would be valid in the whole EU, you can apply for a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM). For doing so, you should file an application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). As regards a EUTM applications, however, registration criteria will have to be assessed on a Community-wide scale and have be met at the same time in all 28 EU Member States. This might be problematic for many brand owners. That is why many of them decide for a national/international route instead. You can read more about  EUTMs on EUIPO's website:

·         general information on EUTMs - https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/trade-marks

·         application guidelines - https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/apply-for-a-trade-mark

·         FAQs on the application procedure - https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/application-procedure

·         Registration procedure scheme – https://oami.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/registration-process

·         FAQs on registration procedure - https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/eutm-registration-procedure

If your intention is to obtain a national protection in your country or in any other country, you should file an application to the respective national IP office. For information on national applications and procedures please visit websites of the national IP offices of interest - http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp

Lastly, you may wish to register a trade mark internationally. A single international registration is equivalent to a bundle of national registrations. Although it is a single registration, protection may be refused by some or all IP offices of the designated countries. Please note that you can file an international application only with regards to the countries part of the so-called Madrid system (all EU Member States participate in Madrid system). It is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and offers a one-step solution for registering and managing trade marks worldwide. Its advantage is that you can have your trade mark protected in up to 95 members by filing one sole application in a selected language and by paying one single registration fee. 

More info on the international filings can be found on: http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/general/