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The 20th of December 1993 Council Regulation No. 40/94 „On the Community Trade Mark“ (hereinafter – „Regulation“) sets forth a system for registration of a Community trade mark which had the unitary character and equal effect throughout the Community: it shall not be registered, transferred or surrendered or be the subject of a decision revoking the rights of the proprietor or declaring it invalid, nor shall its use be prohibited, save in respect of the whole Community. The Community trade mark system co-exists alongside with the national trade mark systems of the Community members. The main purpose for the Community trade mark is to create a true common market in goods and services marketed under trade marks thereby promoting the fundamental objectives of Art. 12 of the Treaty of Rome. Registration of the Community trade mark is conducted by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (trade marks and designs) which is now been established at Alicante, Spain. The Office is established on the normal basis for Community institutions with the normal privileges and immunities. In general the Community trade mark is understood as a trade mark for goods and services which is registered in accordance with the conditions contained in the Regulation. A Community trade mark 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. As the proprietors of Community trade marks may be the following natural or legal persons: nationals of the Member States; or nationals of other States which are parties to the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property (hereinafter referred to as “the Paris Convention”), or to the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization; nationals of States which are not parties to the Paris Convention who are domiciled or have their seat or who have real and effective industrial or commercial establishments within the territory of the Community or of a State which is party to the Paris Convention; or nationals, other than those referred to under subparagraph (c), of any State which is not party to the Paris convention or to the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization and which, according to published findings, accords to nationals of all Member States the same protection for trade marks as it accords to its own nationals and, if nationals of the Member States are required to prove registration in the country of origin, recognizes the registration of Community trade marks as such proof. If a registration is obtained by someone having no standing under the Regulations, the registration is at risk of being declared invalid.
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