European Union trade marks

A Community trademark (CTM) may consist of any signs capable of being represented graphically (proper names, designs, letters, numerals, aesthetic or packaging representation) as long as it allows to distinguish between companies’ goods or services.

The CTM system has been successfully operating since 1996 with a total of around 14 million Community trademark registrations completed to this day. The registered CTM is automatically extended to the EU member states.

The CTM confers on its proprietor an exclusive right to prevent third parties to use an identical or similar mark for commercial purposes in any of the EU member states. The registration procedure at OHIM takes approximately 6 months (from the filing date until the date when the certificate is granted).

A CTM is recommended for many reasons.Read more

A CTM is recommended for the following reasons:

  • a single registration grants unitary protection across all of the EU member states under the condition that the CTM is used in the important part of EU;
  • the possibility to transfer the CTM rights in the European Union without the need to register the transfer of rights in each country’s office, as you only need to register once at any appropriate office. The use of the mark can be licensed either in all the EU, or only in your selected country, reserving the CTM right for yourself;
  • a CTM registration may serve as the ground to dispute subsequent trademark registrations in any of the member states;
  • lower trademark registration expenses compared with individual registrations in each EU member state;
  • upon enlargement of the EU, trademark protection automatically expands to new member states;
  • in the process of trademark registration, communication takes place with a single institution instead of the responsible institutions in each member state.

 

In this area we:

  • evaluate the registrability of a trademark, i.e. its conformity with the absolute (whether a sign is eligible to be recognised as a mark) and relative (whether a sign complies with third party rights) grounds prior to CTM registration;
  • prepare documents for CTM registration and its conversion into national Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian applications;
  • monitor CTM registration validity terms and prepare renewal documents;
  • execute CTM monitoring: keep tabs on whether identical or similar trademarks are not being registered;
  • prepare and register licensing, pledge, trademark right transfer agreements;
  • choose the optimum strategy for CTM registration.

 

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We help to choose the most efficient trademark protection in the EU

You can register the CTM trademark by either filing an application to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) or by international trademark registration route applying for extension of protection to the European Union.

 

We monitor and analyse registered and rejected CTM applications and give recommendations

Prior to the filing of a trademark application and under your request, we examine whether the trademark does not infringe earlier trademark proprietors’ rights and their interests as well as check if your mark meets the trademark registration requirements. We alert our clients about any possible threats and seek ways to adjust the mark, defend their interests by preparing motivated responses to the official actions and representing them in any dispute at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).

 

We supervise the CTM registration process

Our work is based on internal rules that are adapted to ensure successful development of the process. We have installed an internal system that allows to keep track of all the terms. Therefore, we ensure timely payment of all the fees and handle responses to the official actions by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). It is our top priority to make sure the needs of our clients are satisfied and we perform an in-depth analysis of every given situation and offer the optimum solution (with respect to economic and highest protection aspects).

 

We monitor the validity of the trademark and extend its term of validity

We have installed a trademark validity tracking software which allows us to inform the clients about the expiry of the mark beforehand. It is of major importance that the validity is extended on time. A failure to do so within the last year of its validity or, within the six months after expiry if a surcharge is paid may result in invalid registration.

 

We give advice on the efficient use of the CTM

The registered CTM becomes your own property and thus can be at your disposition. You are free to transfer the trademark or license third parties to use it. You may benefit from it financially by giving the third parties a consent to fully or partially use your intellectual property within a specified territory or for the class of certain goods.

 

We perform trademark monitoring

We monitor CTMs by keeping track of new trademark registrations and notifying our clients of possible infringements. It is important to ensure CTM’s use after its registration. Specifically, CTMs are required to be actually used within a period of five years after the registration. The use of a trademark is not confined to the aspect of member states’ national borders. The key assessment criteria is the market of respective goods or services and whether the trademark proprietor used the mark in such a way that it would create or maintain the market of specific goods or services.

 

We audit the CTMs, consult on the development of the intellectual property portfolio

Our clients can enjoy a full spectrum of legal intellectual property services. Besides the CTM registration, we also form CTM portfolios and develop trademark management strategies.

 

We represent clients at CTM disputes

We represent clients in the examination of CTM opposition procedures, prepare claims and lawsuits regarding the CTM infringement, prepare observations in response to the claims and lawsuits, represent clients in pre-litigation and legal proceeding institutions.

 

Specialists:

Estonia Latvia Lithuania
Margit Järvik Evgenia Gainutdinova Daiva Bukniene
Maria Silvia Martinson Ruta Olmane Rasa Slunksnyte
Kaie Puur Violeta Sutkiene
Mikk Putk Audrone Tauriene
Reda Zaboliene
Aivija Zilione