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This is a practical guide to the legal aspects of the Community Trade Mark, which is an intellectual property right created by an European Council Regulation of December 1993, and which entered into force on 1 April 1996.
The main attraction of the Community Trade Mark is that it enables an applicant to obtain and maintain, with only one registration, trade mark protection throughout the 15 Member States of the European Union (rather than having to obtain and maintain the registration of essentially the same trade mark in each of those countries). In other words, the Community Trade Mark offers one-stop-shopping; the proprietor of a Community Trade Mark is able to enjoy exclusive rights of use at a significantly reduced cost in order to enjoy comparable rights simultaneously throughout the European Union pursuant to the traditional country-by-country or international registration systems.
The Community Trade Mark system is administered by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM), which is an agency of the European Union. The Community Trade Mark system has been surprisingly successful since its inception.