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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

Enlargement of EU


After any future enlargement of the European Union any EU trade mark and registered Community design registered or applied for before the accession of new countries will automatically extend to the new Member State(s) without any formalities or fees.
For further information, see the Guidelines, Part A, General Rules, Section 9, Enlargement.

No. For extended EU trade marks (EU trade mark registrations or pending EU trade mark applications), there is no possibility of contesting their validity as to absolute grounds that only apply because of the accession of new Member States. For example, if an existing EU trade mark registration consists of a word that is descriptive in the language of one of the new Member States, this will not be a ground for filing an invalidity claim, as established by the EU trade mark Regulation.

Further information on trade marks in the European Union.

No. EU trade marks that have been applied for or registered before accession of new Member States will not be translated or published in the new languages. However, as from the date of accession, the new official languages of the Member States have become official languages of the EU and therefore all EU trade marks applied for on or after that date are translated into the new official languages.

Yes. Holders of earlier national rights may prohibit the use (only) of extended EU trade marks in the territory of a new Member State, according to their national legislation, under two conditions. Firstly, the earlier rights were registered, applied for or acquired in the new Member State prior to the date of accession of that state and secondly, the earlier rights were acquired in good faith. This provision guarantees the unitary character of the EU trade mark system, as an EU trade mark remains valid for all Member States of the EU but it cannot be used only in the territory of the ‘new Member State’ where the earlier conflicting right exists.

For further information, see Decision No 2013‑3 of the Presidium of the Boards of Appeal of 05/07/2013 on the amicable settlement of disputes, ‘Decision on Mediation’.

In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement concluded between the EU and the UK (read the latest news here), the UK left the EU on 1 February 2020.

The transition period provided for in that agreement, during which EU law (including the EUTM and RCD Regulations and their implementing instruments) remained applicable to and in the UK, ended on 31 December 2020.

For more information, please consult:

The questions and answers provided on this page serve a purely informative purpose and are not a legal point of reference. Please consult the European Union Trade mark and Community Design Regulations or Trade mark / Design Guidelines for further details.

For more information about how the Office handles your personal data, please consult the Data protection notice.

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