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04. Is a European trademark availability search before filing advisable?

Trademark searches are always advisable as they give an idea which obstacles may be expected along the way to registration. Full similarity searches in all registers that are applicable to the European Countries however are very costly as the following registers have to be searched:

-Community Trademark Register
-International Register (WIPO) with any type of EU-country designation
-25 National Trademark Registers (the Benelux countries are combined in one trademark register)

As a very cost effective way of trademark searching, the following alternatives for trademark clearing are often used:

-Identical wordmark searches in all countries
-Identical wordmark searches in selected but essential countries in the European Union.
-Similarity trademark searches in selected but essential countries in the European Union

(Often selected and considered essential countries are: United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux as well as the Community Trademark Register itself).


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