From the 23rd of March, there have been changes to the EU trade mark registration process. This post has been updated to reflect those changes.
Trade mark protection is regional. A trade mark registered in the UK will only protect the brand in the UK. Companies that trade in different countries have to file a trade mark in each country separately, unless all the countries are part of the European Union (EU). The EU offers a single trade mark registration for all member countries called the EU Trade Mark.
Deciding between a EU trade mark and a UK trade mark
If you trade in countries, which are part of the EU and you wish to protect your brand in these countries, then you should file an EU trade mark. An EU trade mark registration will also protect your brand in the UK and it is a cheaper alternative to filing in each country individually.The brand protection is valid in all 28 countries which are part of the EU.
If you trade only in the UK and wish to protect your brand in the UK, then a UK trade mark is the way to go. Financially, it is cheaper than filing an EU trade mark application and it allows you prevent others from filing a confusingly similar mark in the UK and the EU.
The downside of a EU trade mark and a UK trade mark
An EU trade mark registration protects your brand throughout the EU so no specific country can be selected or excluded.The trade mark application is also at a higher risk of facing an objection from the European trade mark office or an opposition from the owner of an earlier right. As for a UK trade mark registration, it does not give you rights outside of the UK territory.
Please note that if your application is refused, you will not be able to recover the filing fees paid.
EU trade mark – £700 (€850) for 1 class | £45 (€50) for 2nd class | £135 (€150) per extra class
UK trade mark – £170 for 1 class | £50 per extra class
You can calculate the fees for your trade mark by using our trade mark calculator.
Deciding between filing your application in the UK or the EU is not always as straightforward as you might think. In doubts, it is highly advisable to consult with a specialist in trade mark law who will be able to give you the best trade mark filing strategy adapted to your needs. Click here to complete our form and one of our trade mark lawyer will contact you to discuss your options.