Is EU First-to-file or First-to-use?

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Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

Generally, there are two types of trademark filing systems; first-to-file and first-to-use. The majority of the world's countries use the first-to-file system.

The EU is one of the countries that is governed by the first-to-file rule. Once you file your application with the EUIPO, you will gain priority right over anyone who files an identical or confusingly similar application after you.

Let's say your competitor has been using an identical mark in commerce before your registration without protecting their brand. You are still entitled to register such a mark based on the first-to-file rule. If your competitor decides to register their mark after your filing, you should be granted the registration, as you were the first applicant.

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