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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

Authentication or legalisation of certified copies

Pursuant to the provisions of Rules 84(6) and 89(5) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2868/95 implementing the Council Regulation on the European Union trade mark, and of Articles 74(4) and (5) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2245/2002 implementing the Council Regulation on Community Designs, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issues certified copies of the applications, certificates of registration or documents involved in matters handled by it, as well as certified extracts from the Register of European Union trade marks or designs.

In addition, some third countries require such certified copies to be authenticated or legalised before admitting them as the basis for a priority claim before their national Office or a claim of any other kind before their authorities.

To that end, on 19 September 2000, the European Commission adopted a procedure, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, authorising the Head of the European Commission Representation in Spain to authenticate the signature of documents issued by EUIPO.


Requests for certified copies must be sent to EUIPO on the appropriate 'application for an Inspection of file' form, specifying in the relevant section that the copies are for filing in a third country that requires them to be authenticated, and specifying in the appropriate place the third country/ies for which such legalisation is required.

EUIPO will then issue the certified copies in the usual way and send them to the European Commission Representation in Spain at the following address:

Comisión Europea, Representación en España
Paseo de la Castellana, 46 E-28046 Madrid (Spain)

Tel: +34 914 238 000

In addition, EUIPO will send a notification informing the applicant that the documents requested have been sent to the Representation.

Once the Representation has received the documents from EUIPO, the Head of the Representation will certify the authenticity of the signature appearing therein; the documents will then be sent to the address specified by the applicant in the original application for inspection or can be collected personally from the European Commission Representation in Madrid.

Should the applicant already have a certified copy, it can be sent by post to the Representation in Madrid or handed in there in person. The documents to be legalised must be accompanied by a letter stating who is applying for legalisation (postal address and contact names), the country for which legalisation is sought and either the address to which they want the document to be sent or, if they prefer to collect them in person, a contact telephone number.

Care should be taken that certified copies downloaded direct from EUIPO's webpage are of a good print quality and are duly stapled or bound.

Once legalisation by the European Commission Representation has been obtained, the applicant must follow the appropriate procedures at the Embassy or Consulate of the third country (the destination of the documents) in Spain. Before accepting such documents, many countries also require subsequent legalisation by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We therefore advise applicants to contact the Embassy of the third country in question if they are not clear about the procedure to be followed. Contact addresses for the embassies of the countries accredited in Spain.

Finally, please note that neither EUIPO nor the Commission is responsible for practices implemented or decisions taken by the authorities of third countries in connection with the legalisation of documents issued by EUIPO.

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