A Community Trade Mark covers the whole European Union. If you do business in the EU, it is worth considering applying for a CTM as it is a cost effective solution providing protection in all 27 member states of the European Union.
EU Trade Mark Search
The process of registering a CTM is much the same as the process for applying for a UK trade mark. However, as a national registration from any of the 27 countries is able to block a CTM application there is more risk of the application failing. One way to understand the risks before you apply, is to have a wider search covering not just the CTM register but also various individual country registers within the EU. Our Standard and Enterprise searches cover most of the EU national registers (for details see our trademark search options page).
This means if you find that someone has registered a trade mark in France, then if you apply for an EU trade mark, they may object to your application if they considered your mark to be similar to their registered trade mark. So the more comprehensive a search you have of the national registers the lower the risk of a failed application.
If from your search you discover other registrations and your chosen name is not available for you to use, knowing this will save you wasting money on company formations, domains and the cost of an opposition to your mark. So, it always makes sense to check the trade mark registers first.
Value for money
The Community Trade Mark is valid for 10 years and can be renewed.
The fees paid to the EU registry office are higher than for a UK trade mark registration but this is perfectly reasonable if you bear in mind that the scope of the CTM registration covers 27 countries. So, based on the official fees are 900 Euros this represents around 35 Euros per country.
The CTM has been described as being “central to virtually every European branding decision for virtually every type of business from virtually every country in the world”; therefore it is impossible to ignore its usefulness.