The Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market (hereinafter, the “OHIM”) as an agency of the European Union is responsible for managing two ways of protecting creativity and innovation: the community brand and the registered community design. OHIM works in collaboration with the national and regional intellectual property offices of the European Union, user groups, the European Commission and other international organisations.
Following procedures similar to those followed by the SPTO, it will be necessary to submit an application for the registration of a Community trademark at OHIM and from its registration, it will have exclusive rights for the protection of trademarks, designs and models throughout the European Union.
The OHIM Community Trademark application must contain the following basic information: (i) states that a trademark is requested; (ii) identification and signature of the applicant; (iii) brand name (the equivalent of the word mark and graphic / logo in OHIM is designated as a Figurative Mark with verbal elements); and, (iv) products or services to which it will apply (Nice Classification).
Once the application has been received, the competent body will examine the documentation (form, fee payment and attached documentation) and OHIM will process the registration of the trademark following the procedure established that includes the following steps: (i) receipt of the application; (ii) exam period; (iii) publication of the registered Community trademark in all official languages of the European Union; (iv) from the date of publication the third parties will have a period of 3 months to object if they consider that the trademark should not be registered; (v) end of the opposition period; (vi) registration; and, (vii) publication of the registered trademark and the issuance of its corresponding registration certificate.
In the event that OHIM detects an error, they will have a period of 2 months to correct the irregularities or present the appropriate allegations. The average period available to OHIM to resolve a Community trademark application has been 5 months, notwithstanding any type of suspense or opposition that could delay the procedure.
For the example that we have discussed in point 2 above, the registration of a community brand in OHIM to carry out the marketing of products such as cheese and wine, currently has a fee of € 900 if the online registration is made, or € 1,050 if registration is made at the OHIM office located in Alicante. The registration of the Community trade mark includes, by default, 3 classes to choose from the aforementioned list of the Nice Classification.
The registration of a Figurative Mark with verbal elements ((includes, denomination and graphics / or logo) for the commercialisation of cheeses, wines and we additionally add, the class of legumes:
Meat, fish, poultry and game meat; meat extracts; preserved fruits, vegetables, vegetables and legumes, frozen, dried and cooked; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk and dairy products; edible oils and fats.
Alcoholic beverages (except beers).
Grains and agricultural, horticultural and forestry products, not included in other classes; live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetables and legumes; seeds; natural plants and flowers; animal feed; malt.
In case you were interested in making a registration that includes more than 3 classes of products and services for the Figurative Mark with community verbal elements that are requested, for example, it would be necessary to pay an additional amount of € 150 for each class.
Once the registration of the Community trademark has been obtained, it is necessary to know that the registration is for a period of 10 years from the date of application, and if it is desired to keep the trademark in force, it must be renewed. Renewal must be requested within 6 months prior to expiration.
Additionally, it is necessary to point out that the amounts indicated are exclusively for fees derived from the registration of the aforementioned marks in the different organisations and the amounts for professional fees have not been added that, therefore, should be included.
Eva Isabel Gallego Morales y Diego Fernández Maldonado
Imagen: Igor Marx / Shutterstock.com