The protection can only be obtained by registration, aspect that involves, first, submitting an application to OHIM, simple use of it not creating a right of protection. The registration of a Community trademark shall have equal effect throughout the European Union, respectively it cannot be registered, transferred or be the subject of renunciation, of a revoking decision of the rights of holder, or invalidity and its use may be prohibited only in the Union, in its ensemble. However, although the trademark is effective in all EU countries, Community trademark does not replace national trademarks of the Member States but coexists with them.
Advantages for registration of a Community trade mark are the following:
- Coverage: a community trademark covers the entire EU market, with 27 states and over 350 mil. of inhabitants (i.e. potential consumers / users of products or services under the mark);
- Registration Procedure: for registration, it is used a single application, filed with one office, one registration procedure, a single language used in the procedure;
- Costs: costs are lower compared to registration of the trademark in each of the EU Member States
- Community trade mark registration is not subject to the prior registration of the mark nationwide or in the origin state;
- The application can be completed and filed in any of the 23 official languages of the Member States, the further proceedings being conducted at the applicants choice, in one of the five official languages of OHIM: French, English, German, Italian or Spanish;
- Everything that happens with a registered community trademark will have the same effect in all EU countries;
- Use of the mark in a Member State determines the validity of the trademark in the EU, and avoids the forfeiture of the mark on grounds of non-use for an uninterrupted period of 5 years.
Community trademark may be registered by any individual or entity that is a national of a Member State of the European Union and is domiciled in the EU.
There can be registered as Community trademarks: word marks (consisting of words, their combinations, numbers, personal names, slogans, etc., without being accompanied by other distinctive elements), figurative marks (consisting of drawings, verbal combinations drawings), three-dimensional marks (shape of the goods or packaging, or other 3D shapes that can be used for the products), color “per se” (combination of colors that, through use, has become distinctive for certain categories of products or services), other types of marks (holograms, moving brands, olfactory trademarks).
The fees for Community trademarks, for individual trademarks, consist of a basic submission fee, in amount of 1050 Euro (covering three classes of goods / services, and for each additional class is a fee of 150 Euro / class), which is to be paid within 30 days from submission, and for a collective trademark the fee is in amount of 1800 Euro.