Romanians do not yet take into account the trademarks registration on the EU market, according to some statistics that show Romania has opted for international registration for only 50 trademarks whereas Czech Republic has recorded 500 requests, and Hungary 400 requests, in 2005.

Alexandru Harsany, Senior Associate with the Law Firm NNDKP answers questions about advantages, costs and ways of international registration of trademarks. What are the advantages of the EU registration for Romanian trademarks?

Alexandru Harsany: Protecting the trademark by registering it on the international market allows Romanian companies to deliver products and services to the signatory states, under the same brands as in the home country. This is an important aspect especially in the wake of Romania’s accession to the EU, a market that functions upon rules of free movement of goods and services.

Therefore, Romanian companies will take advantage of the same rights granted in Romania but also of an exclusivity of the trademark at the European level that entails a ban for others to employ the same brand.

Additionally to national registration, the community registration will provide:

1. Simplification of procedures – one application form, one language, one management centre, only one file.

2. Lower costs

3. Employing the trademark in only one country makes it valid Europe wide still.

4. Legal procedures against prejudices brought to the trademark can be carried out in any of the EU countries. How can one register a trademark?

Alexandru Harsany: The national registration is carried out directly in each of the member countries chosen for the activity of the company, whereas the international procedure entails the choice for one or more states to offer protection over the brand. Taxes range from the countries in which the trademark is registered individually or for protection.

Following accession to EU, Romanians can apply for community registration that offers protection in all the EU member states.

The EU registration is carried out via Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, Trade Marks and Designs (OHIM), whereas the national registration application goes to the office of industrial property of the state. The costs entail an application tax and an examination tax.

If within three months from the application date there is no objection to the registration, the trademark will be registered to the EU level. The trademark is to be published in the Community Trade Marks Bulletin, and the beneficiary is given a certificate valid for ten years. The registration can be prolonged. What are the costs entailed?

Alexandru Harsany: For community registration, the applicant pays as it follows:

• for filing a Certificate Trademark (CTM) application: €900 plus €150 for each class of goods and services which exceeds three

• for filing a CTM application by electronic means: €750 plus €150 for each class of goods and services which exceeds three

• for registering a CTM: €850 plus €150 for each class of goods and services exceeding three.

Additionally, a 12 euros/ country research fee is to be paid starting March 10, 2008, for each country where a research regarding previous trademarks is carried out. Commissions for consultants that help with the trademark registration range from 1200 to 1500 euros. How long the procedure takes?

Alexandru Harsany: It takes approximately 12 months, starting with the date when the OHIM receives the complete application, provided all taxes are paid in time.