If you are looking for trademark protection in countries, which form part of the European Union, it is possible to apply for a community trademark (CTM) through the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).
The advantages of a CTM are that it provides trademark protection within all EU Member States at a significantly lower cost than the collective cost of filing separate applications in each Member State. In addition, there is an automatic extension of all existing CTMs to new Member States.
A CTM registration is renewable every ten years. The renewal of a CTM in all EU countries may be accomplished through a single filing, which serves as a considerable administrative benefit.
Although this option is available, CTMs do not exclude the possibility of making national registrations, as community law does not extend as far as to replace the trademark laws of individual Member States.
By Gcobisa Bonani, a third year law student and legal assistant at Lawdit Solicitors