The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs), or OHIM (OAMI or Oficina de Armonizacion del Mercado Interior, HABM Harmonisierungsamt für den Binnenmarkt, OHMI or Office de l'Harmonisation dans le Marché Intérieur, UAMI or Ufficio per l'Armonizzazione nel Mercato Interno) is the trademark and industrial designs registry for the internal market of the European Union. It is based in Alicante, Spain, and its president is Wubbo de Boer.
The task of OHIM is to promote and manage Community Trade Marks and Community Designs within the European Union. It carries out registration procedures for titles to Community industrial property and keeps public registers of these titles. It shares with the courts in Member States of the European Union the task of pronouncing judgment on requests for invalidation of registered titles.
The Office is a public establishment which enjoys legal, administrative and financial independence. The Office was created under European Community law and is a European Community Body with its own legal personality. Its activities are subject to Community Law. The Community Courts – the Court of First Instance and the Court of Justice of the European Communities – are responsible for overseeing the legality of the Office's decisions. The Office is responsible for balancing its budget from its own revenue, which is derived mainly from registration fees and fees for the renewal of trade mark protection.
In a report released in March 2008, OHIM announced that due to the strong demand for community-wide trademarks, the agency had accumulated a budget surplus of nearly €300 million, despite the fact that fees had been reduced by 25% in recent years. While a trademark currently costs €1,600, the agency's head, Wubbo de Boer, has publicly advocated further reducing it to €1,000.
Every two years the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) organises a European Judges’ Symposium on trade mark and design issues. These Symposia aim to promote harmonisation in the application of the Community trade mark and Community design regulations at all jurisdictional levels and, in particular, at the level of Community trade mark and design courts. These are national courts of the EU Member States which have jurisdiction in disputes concerning the infringement and the validity of Community trade marks and Community designs.
The first Symposium was held in Luxembourg in 1999; since 2001 it has been held in Alicante. Judges from both Member States and candidate countries attend these Symposia along with representatives from the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance. Working sessions have focused on absolute and relative grounds for refusing registration of a Community trade mark, proceedings brought before the Community trade mark courts and the impact of EU enlargement on the Community trade mark system.
The OHIM was present at the following events:
More detailed information and archive at http://oami.europa.eu/en/office/events/