The European Union Intellectual Property Office or the EUIPO is the agency of the European Union that is responsible for the registration of the European Union Trademark or the community trademarks and registered community designs (RCD). These are the two intellectual property rights valid uniformly across all the member countries of the European Union.

Countries included in the EUIPO

The countries that are included in the workings of the EUIPO are listed alphabetically. They are-

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Functions of the EUIPO

i. The EUIPO is in charge of the management of the European Union Trade Mark and Registered Community Design. The EUIPO further offers business rights and other exclusive rights to its citizens for both protection of trademark and design, in a single application, throughout the European Union.

ii. The EUIPO extends its agency beyond the registration of Intellectual Property Rights, to provide harmonization of the registration practice of both trademark and design and foster development in common Intellectual Property tools.

iii. The work is carried out and cooperated throughout the European Union across national and regional Intellectual Property Offices.

The legal framework of the EUIPO

The EUIPO regulation that was established early on, created the European Union trade mark also known as the community trademark as an instrument of legal purpose for the European Union. The EUIPO was established as a European Union agency with administrative, legal and financial autonomy.

Regulation 2015/2424.

This regulation came into force on March 23, 2016. This regulation brought about changes in 3 different areas. Namely-

i. Trademark fees- the fees system was changed onto a pay per class system.

ii. Technical changes- Graphical representation of trademark, procedures for examination, grounds for absolute refusal, grounds for relative refusal, classification of goods and services, prosecution, cancellation of proceedings and the appeal system.

iii. Institutional changes- the office was officially named into the EUIPO. The tasks of the EUIPO were codified and the framework was established.

Structure of the EUIPO

The EUIPO is governed by-

i. A board of management and a budget committee comprised of one member from each member nation.

ii. Two European Commission representatives.

iii. One European Parliament representative.

Board of Appeal

i. There are four boards of appeal for Trademark registration and one board of appeal for Designs.

ii. The board of appeal is made up of three members, they are- the Chairperson and two legally qualified members of the board.

iii. There is a Grand Board that hears appeals made through the OHIM or the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.

iv. The Presidium consists of the presidents of the board of appeal, the chairperson of the boards and three elected members elected for a calendar year.

v. The duty of the Presidium is to oversee the rules and organizational matters of the board of appeal.

The European Union Trade Mark (EUTM)

The EUTM allows-

i. Online registration,

ii. A single registration for a trademark,

iii. For a basic registration fee

iv. The registration lasts for 10 years

v. It can be updated indefinitely for 10 years in blocks

The Registered Community Designs (RCD)

i. The fee for registration and publishing of a single design is 350 EUR.

ii. The registration lasts for 5 years.

iii. The registration can be updated for a period of 5 years to 25 years.