Since the economic alliance is at the heart of the European Union, there's no surprise that a European Union trademark (often abbreviated as EUTM) exists to allow business owners from one member state to achieve brand protection across the whole EU. This protection makes the expansion and enforcement of rights across borders significantly easier.
However, what somehow complicates the matters is that the system for registering trademarks has three tiers that work in parallel with each other:
- the national route, where your register a trademark in one member state with the local IP office,
- the regional route specifically for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which are covered by a Benelux trademark registered with the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property (BOIP), andthe European route, where you file a single application to receive protection across all member states. European Union trademarks are registered by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
This system naturally invites questions about how an EU trademark and the relationship between the tiers work. We have compiled some of the most common questions about EU trademarks below.