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Why Register a Trademark in the EU?

The Trademark (TM) Registration Certificate can be compared to a passport – it confirms the existence of your trademark, describes its characteristics, and secures the rights to it in one or several countries.

* In some countries, for example in Russia, there is a division into a trademark and a trade name. In this case, trade name is an officially registered trademark, otherwise these concepts are no different.

After registration, the trademark becomes intellectual property, that is, it acquires legal status and protection. Now it cannot be used without the consent of the owner and can be sold, bought, gifted or leased.

That is why we recommend registering the trademarks of your creams and dietary supplements at the production stage. Of course, you can enter the market without it, but then you wouldn't be able to protect your rights – and this is not only about the deliberate use of your ideas. If someone else registers a TM that is similar to yours, he will have the right to prohibit you from using your TM and even receive compensation for copyright infringement.

However, legal protection of your rights is not the only reason for registration. Consumers are more loyal to officially registered brands of dietary supplements and cosmetics – in their understanding, this indicates high stability of the company and provides a guarantee of quality. This additionally protects you against counterfeiting and the appearance of products similar to your product. Therefore, TM registration is an important part of your company's image.

The trademark acquires legal protection from the time of filing an application with the registering authority. In the European Union, it is the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). If the brand of your cream or dietary supplement successfully passes the procedure, the similar applications submitted later will be rejected.

What Can You Register?

The main requirement for TM in the European Union is a trademark must clearly differ from others, mustn’t mislead consumers and mustn’t be just descriptive (for example, you cannot register the words “dietary supplement”, “nutritional supplement”, “cream”, or “gel”).

Trademarks to be registered in the European Union can be presented in the text (slogan, combination of letters and numbers), visual (picture, emblem, holographic image, color combination), volumetric (shape of product or package) and sound (piece of music, song) forms, or their combinations (video sequence, animation).

Smell can also be registered, but in practice it is rather difficult to do this. However, for dietary supplements and cosmetic creams, such TM can become an interesting fashion solution.

How to Register

It is better to prepare for registration even before developing a formulation and starting production. As you know, the presentation of a product to consumers directly depends on its idea, so you need to make sure that competitors haven’t registered something similar yet.

If you want to get a TM Certificate in the European Union, but your company is located outside the EU, you need to appoint a representative who is a resident of one of the EU countries.

The main steps to be taken:

  • Preliminary search in the already existing TM databases – to make sure that your product is unique and increase the chances of its successful registration.
  • Filing an application for registration with a comprehensive description of the TM and its elements.
  • Passing a formal examination (for accuracy of records, absence of grounds for refusal, presence of similar trademarks), which can take up to 3 months.
  • Waiting for third party objections after publication of the application in the EU Trademark Bulletin within 3 months.
  • Obtaining a registration certificate, if you have successfully completed all the previous steps.

The whole process can take from 6 months to several years, if you have to make changes to the TM, file an appeal against the refusal to register, or challenge the third party objections.

After Registration

The certificate will be valid for 10 years. The main requirements that must be observed during this time are to actually use your trademark and not to make any changes to it, otherwise it may be canceled.

In the last year of the certificate validity period, you need to apply for a renewal.

Possible Difficulties

Registering a trademark is no more difficult than developing a formulation and managing the manufacturing of your dietary supplements and cosmetics. However, at some stages, serious difficulties may arise – you have to be prepared for that.

A preliminary search in TM databases does not always guarantees that you'll pass a formal examination. To conduct it efficiently, you need to know the relevant resources well and have the skill to work with them.

At the formal examination stage, it may be necessary to make changes to the TM, if it has similarities with the existing ones. This can be avoided by challenging the refusal or applying for the cancellation of a competitive TM.

The third party objections should be correctly disputed in order to avoid refusal to register and legal proceedings in the future.

After registration, third parties can apply to cancel your TM – and in addition to the registration certificate, you will need to provide actual proof of TM use.

It is also worth remembering of the time spent, the need to find a representative and be constantly in touch throughout the registration process.

Therefore, Millmax contract manufacturing services include complete documentation of developed dietary supplements and creams. Most of our customers are more comfortable delegating these procedures than wasting their time.

If you are ready to entrust this process to professionals or you need expert support at any stage – contact us, we are always ready to help you!