COMMUNITY TRADE MARKS
Since 01.05.2004 Poland has been included under the regulation of the Community Trade Mark (CTM). In the whole European Union the EU Council Regulation No. 207/2009 of 26.02.2009 (earlier the EU Council Regulation No. 40/94 of 20.12.1994) on the Community Trade Mark (see ‘Legal Acts’) has binding force.
The registration of the CTM trade mark in the Office for Harmonisation of Internal Market OHIM (Trade Marks and Designs) in Alicante, Spain, gives its owner an exclusive right to use the same or similar trade mark for the same or similar goods and/or services within the whole EU. A trade mark is registered under the CTM procedures after the formal examination of absolute grounds for refusal and after the opposition period.
As of 01.05.2004 Poland has been a party to CTM, similar to 9 other states accessing the EU at that time. The trade marks filed for protection on the whole area of EU under the CTM procedure are subject to the procedure of formal examination, examination of absolute grounds for refusal and opposition system. A significant procedural difference, i.e. the lack of examination of relative registration capacity of an application, and reliance on the procedure of oppositions, has to be emphasised in the case of the CTM trade mark when compared to the examination procedure used, for example, by the Polish Patent Office. If there is no opposition, the filed trade mark is registered even if it remains in conflict with another earlier trade mark in some area of the EU. For every trade mark filed under the CTM procedure the time for submission of oppositions lasts 3 months since the publication date. During this time the owner of an earlier similar trade mark can file an opposition. The basis for the opposition can be:
an earlier right to the trade mark deriving from the CTM registration or application,
an earlier right to the trade mark deriving from the national registration or application in an EU state,
an earlier right to the trade mark deriving from the international registration in WIPO Geneva, granted in one or more EU states.