What is a Community Trade Mark?

A community trade mark (CTM) is a trademark that is effective throughout the European Union. It is a single application system that allows you to register your trade mark across all member states of the European Union. It cannot be limited to specific member states of the European Union. A CTM is administered through the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). It has to be in accordance with the CTM regulations. It can be valid for up to 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for period of ten years.

A CTM would grant you the exclusive right to stop the unauthorised use of trade mark without your consent. It would enable you to prevent third parties from a wide range of activities such as putting your registered CTM onto their goods or packaging or supplying services carrying your registered CTM. A CTM can also enable you to then also register your trade mark through international routes to countries which are part of the Madrid Protocol through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The main benefits of a CTM is that it allows you to file a single application to gain effectiveness across the whole European Union, rather than having to file single separate application for each member state. Therefore a single application is considered to be more cost effective and there is less paperwork involved which makes the whole process much easier.

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