Protecting your Intellectual Capital

What is a Trademark? What is the OCRA Trademark Search Report? The European Community Trademark (CTM) Registering the International Trademark (Madrid Protocol Trademark) Registering a US Federal Trademark


A trademark refers to a word, a phrase, a design, a symbol, or a slogan that is used to distinguish a product from those of competitors. Trademark law serves as a means to protect the public from being confused about the origin or quality of a product. A company may lose exclusive right to a trademark if it fails to actively defend it against infringement.


By ordering OCRA’s trademark search report, you will be able evaluate the probabilities of registration without problems. Approximately one third of all trademark applications globally are never completed because of objections that normally arise during the registration process because of similarities to other registered trademarks.

Along with the registration search and recommendations, the OCRA search presents a completed form on how and where the trademark should be filed. By allowing OCRA to complete the registration process you can ensure that your trademark has been registered correctly.

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A CTM application and a CTM are valid in the European Community as a whole. The application and the ensuing registration extend automatically to all 25 Member States of the European Community indivisibly. It is not possible to limit the geographic scope of protection to certain Member States. Furthermore, there is one single registration procedure, which is centrally handled before the OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market). No actions before the national industrial property offices are necessary. In addition, invalidation, a refusal or the expiry of the CTM necessarily applies for the whole of the Community. Lastly, the CTM is one single asset of property. It can only be transferred for the whole of the Community and not with respect to individual countries. However, territorially or otherwise limited licenses, even limited for a particular Member State, are possible.

A CTM may consist of any signs capable of being represented graphically, particularly words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, the shape of goods or of their packaging, provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

The procedure for the registration of a CTM is an examination procedure which comprises the following three main parts:

  • Examination of the application, which includes whether or not a filing date may be accorded, the formalities examination and the examination as to absolute grounds for refusal, during which search reports are established.
  • Publication of the application.
  • The procedure up to registration which may comprise opposition proceedings.

On the basis of one application, protection may presently be obtained in Austria, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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The Madrid Protocol is a system for the international registration of trademarks, of which over 85 countries are currently members.

Individuals or companies in any of the member countries of the Madrid Protocol may apply for registration of a trademark in other member countries on the basis of a national application or registration of a trademark. It is easier and cheaper to submit one international application via the Madrid Protocol than to apply separately in each country. The number of member countries is constantly increasing. A registration under the Madrid Protocol will enable the holder to extend this registration at a later date to apply to new member countries. This is known as "subsequent designation".

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If you sell your goods or services in the United States you are strongly advised to obtain a US trademark. OCRA can assist with the preparation and filing of trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as well as assisting with the digitalization, color adjustment and compilation of specimens and designs.

OCRA provides a full range of Trademark consulting and registration services. For clients wishing to learn more about the registration of Intellectual Property Rights, Trade names and Devices” please contact our London office.

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The office(s) or consultant(s) listed here has particular expertise in this area and will gladly assist you, at no obligation, with a Free Initial Consultation on how to approach your particular challenge.

If you would prefer to make contact with a consultant at one of our offices who speaks your language, click here for a full list of our office contact details.

OCRA (London) Limited
3rd Floor
14 Hanover Street
Hanover Square
London W1S 1YH
United Kingdom
+44 20 7317 0600
+44 20 7317 0610

Languages spoken in this office: English, Albanian French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Arabic


Michael Clifford, FInstAM MIoD (Managing Director)
+44 0 20 7317 0600
+44 0 77 6522 3353
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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other
professional advice. OCRA Worldwide does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omission.