The Community Trademark (CTM) gives trademark owners a uniform right applicable in all Member States of the European Union (EU) on the basis of a single application procedure, thereby simplifying trademark policies at European level. It fulfills the three essential functions of a trademark at European level: it identifies the origin of goods and services, guarantees consistent quality through evidence of the company’s commitment to the consumer, and is a form of communication, a basis for publicity and advertising. The CTM covers a market of more than 350 million consumers who enjoy some of the highest living standards in the world.

The CTM system is administered by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM), which is located in Alicante, Spain. The concenpt of a CTM originated in 1964 in a draft of a “Convention on European Trademark Law”. However, it was not until 1980 that the first proposal for a regulation dealing with the CTM appeared.

With trademark professionals descending on Hong Kong for the 136th International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting, this might be a good time to look at the current state of the CTM…

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