Article 39

1. The proprietor of an earlier trade mark registered in a Member State, including a trade mark registered in the Benelux countries, or registered under international arrangements having effect in a Member State, who applies for an identical trade mark for registration as an EU trade mark for goods or services which are identical with or contained within those for which the earlier trade mark has been registered, may claim for the EU trade mark the seniority of the earlier trade mark in respect of the Member State in or for which it is registered.


2. Seniority claims shall either be filed together with the EU trade mark application or within two months of the filing date of the application, and shall include the Member State or Member States in or for which the mark is registered, the number and the filing date of the relevant registration, and the goods and services for which the mark is registered. Where the seniority of one or more registered earlier trade marks is claimed in the application, the documentation in support of the seniority claim shall be filed within three months of the filing date. Where the applicant wishes to claim the seniority subsequent to the filing of the application, the documentation in support of the seniority claim shall be submitted to the Office within three months of receipt of the seniority claim.


3. Seniority shall have the sole effect under this Regulation that, where the proprietor of the EU trade mark surrenders the earlier trade mark or allows it to lapse, he shall be deemed to continue to have the same rights as he would have had if the earlier trade mark had continued to be registered.


4. The seniority claimed for the EU trade mark shall lapse where the earlier trade mark the seniority of which is claimed is declared to be invalid or revoked. Where the earlier trade mark is revoked, the seniority shall lapse provided that the revocation takes effect prior to the filing date or priority date of that EU trade mark.


5. The Office shall inform the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property or the central industrial property office of the Member State concerned of the effective claiming of seniority.


6. The Commission shall adopt implementing acts specifying the kind of documentation to be filed for claiming the seniority of a national trade mark or a trade mark registered under international agreements having effect in a Member State in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 207(2).


7. The Executive Director may determine that the documentation to be provided by the applicant in support of the seniority claim may consist of less than what is required under the specifications adopted in accordance with paragraph 6, provided that the information required is available to the Office from other sources.