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Trademark Registration Fees In The European Union

Trademark registration fees in the European Union

Piotr Pawel Sliwinski

Piotr Pawel Sliwinski

24 November 20234 min read

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Trademark registration in the European Union – official fees

Some time ago, we raised the issue of official fees for registering a trademark in Poland. In this text, you will learn how it works when it comes to protecting your brand by registering with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

EUIPO - what is it?

First and foremost, it is worth explaining how the institution behind the EUIPO acronym functions. The trademark protection system in the European Union consists of two pillars, which may raise some doubts. For example, we are often asked whether a mark registered at EUIPO will also be protected in Poland. Also, our clients often want to register their trademark simultaneously in Poland and the European Union. In practice, this defeats the purpose and would only result in unnecessary multiplication of costs. EUIPO is an institution that allows the registration of a trademark and its protection in all Member States of the European Union, including Poland. Another advantage of EUIPO is the low level of bureaucracy, the exchange of all correspondence electronically and the short processing time of applications. Usually, no more than five months pass from the moment of filing a trademark application to its formal registration.

EUIPO does not replace national patent offices, but only complements them. If someone wants to protect their trademark only in one or more individual Member States of the European Union, there is nothing to stop them. It must be remembered that the protection offered by EUIPO operates on an "all or nothing" basis. Therefore, it is impossible to indicate in the application only some of the countries constituting the European Union, and it always automatically covers the territory of the entire Community.

It’s time to pay

Everyday life provides further evidence of the truth of the thesis that nothing is free. Registration of a trademark at EUIPO is no exception in this matter. The office will not consider our application until we have paid the appropriate official fee. Since we are dealing with an EU institution, the fee rates are given in euro. And yes, we will have to pay 850 euros for first class. In the second class, the fee drops dramatically and amounts to only EUR 50, and then increases again and, starting from the third class, it stabilizes at EUR 150 per class.

In other words, if our application covers two classes, we will pay a total of EUR 900 in official fees. For three it will be EUR 1,050, for four it will be EUR 1,200 and then EUR 150 more with each subsequent class. Since the Nice classification has a total of 45 classes, the maximum amount we can pay will be EUR 7,350. Applications covering all classes are very rare.

The structure of official fees for trademark applications, in which the fee for the second class is different from the others, is unique globally. However, it is worth remembering this peculiarity of the European trademark protection system. In practice, we can extend the scope of protection to an additional class at a very low cost. This is of great importance in the case of products which, due to their properties, may require registration in two classes at the same time. A good example here is software, which generally belongs to class 9, but in a situation where access to it is offered online (so-called software as a service, or SaaS), which is increasingly the case, then class 42 is appropriate. Entities from the IT industry very often register their trademarks in these two classes. However, there are more similar examples, and they also include a number of "traditional" goods.

Expensive, but…

The amount of EUR 850 for filing a trademark in one class may seem prohibitive, especially for small business owners or people taking their first business steps. This fee is indeed quite high compared to the similar fees that must be paid in the case of registering a trademark, e.g. in Poland, other Member States, or even the United States. On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that EUIPO does not charge any additional fees, e.g. for registration or publication. Additionally, by paying this fee, we open the way to protecting our brand in all European Union member states, which together constitute a market of nearly half a billion potential consumers. Moreover, fees for the second and subsequent classes do not differ from global standards in this matter and are even competitive in comparison to them. The more classes our application covers, the lower the average amount of the official fee for each of them will be.

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Are official fees refundable?

Unfortunately not. In the event of events that result in a refusal to grant protection for a given trademark, e.g. in the event of filing an effective opposition, the fees paid are not refunded by the Patent Office. For this reason, it is important to seek professional advice before submitting the application to reduce the risk of failure.

Can official fees be reduced?

Official fees must be paid in full in each case, and it is impossible to reduce them. However, entrepreneurs who want to protect their brands can apply for a voucher worth EUR 1,000, awarded by the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Holders of such vouchers can obtain a refund of 75% of the costs incurred by them on official fees. We help our clients obtain them free of charge.

What is a submission class?

The classes in which we file our trademark are a list of the products and services for which we want to protect our brand. The specification of the registered mark is therefore a derivative of the profile of our business activity. Because, in principle, it is not possible

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