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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

Trade marks in the European Union

Where to register

In the EU, there is a four-tier system for registering trade marks. What you choose depends on the needs of your business.

Let’s say you just want protection in one EU Member State; perhaps where your business is based at the moment, or where you want to trade. You can make a trade mark application directly at the relevant national IP office. This is the national route. Check the full list of national offices.

If you want protection in Belgium, the Netherlands and/or Luxembourg, you can make an application to the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property (BOIP), the only regional-level IP office in the EU, for trade mark protection in those three Member States. This is the regional route.

If you want protection in more Member States of the EU, you can apply for an EU trade mark from the EUIPO – this is the European route. An online application at the EUIPO costs €850 and is filed in just one language. When we receive your application we check it and process it, and once registered, your trade mark can be renewed indefinitely every 10 years.

The national, regional and EU systems are complementary, and work in parallel with each other.

National level trade marks and regional trade marks are necessary for users who do not want or need protection of their trade marks at EU level.

EU trade marks give protection in all Member States of the Union, for those who want that option.


The fourth route to protection in the EU is the international route. You can use your national, regional or EU trade mark application to expand your protection internationally, to any country that is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol. Find out more about international registrations.

National level, via national EU IP offices.

Regional level registration in Belgium, the Netherlands and/or Luxembourg, via BOIP.

EU-wide protection (all EU Member States) via the EUIPO.

International registration via WIPO.


Benefits of registering a trade mark

  • Protects your brand value
  • Builds an asset
  • Defends against rival marks
  • Defines your rights
  • Prevents counterfeiting and fraud

Benefits of registering a European Union trade mark

  • A single registration — filed online, in one language — is valid in all EU Member States.
  • The EU trade mark gives its owner an exclusive right in all current and future EU Member States at a reasonable cost.
  • You can enforce your trade mark in a market of almost 500 million consumers.
  • An EU trade mark is valid for 10 years. It can be renewed indefinitely, 10 years at a time for each renewal.

International trade mark registration

If you have already applied for, or registered, your trade mark in another part of the world, you can obtain an EU trade mark when making an ‘international registration (IR)' by selecting the EU on the application form. You can do this using what is known as the Madrid System, which is administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

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