In today’s competitive business landscape, protecting your brand is paramount. One of the most effective ways to safeguard your brand identity is by registering a trademark. This article will guide you through the process of trademark registration, ensuring that your brand enjoys legal protection and recognition.
A trademark can be any sign that allows you to distinguish the goods or services of a given company, on the market, from those of competitors. A trademark may be, among others: a logo, one word or phrase, a drawing, a color, a sound. A trademark is always protected in relation to specific goods and services.
If you want your trademark to be protected throughout the European Union, you must file a trademark application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office – EUIPO.
You can also apply for a trademark registration in one country only. If you want to register your trademark in Poland, you shall file it witht the Polish Patent Office. If the procedure is successful and the PPO grants protection for your trademark, its registration will be valid only on the territory of Poland.
Individual countries (or groups of countries – eg Benelux) have their own offices competent for the registration of trademarks. You can apply for protection there directly – then it is usually necessary to file the application with help of a local attorney, or through the international trademark registration procedure at WIPO, which can be prosecuted by a Polish tardemark attorney – we provide such services.
In the application for registration of a trademark, only one trademark and a list of goods and services according to the Nice classification should be indicated. You must also pay the official fee for the application.
Within max. 2 months from the date of filing of the trademark to the PPO, the trademark should be visible in the Office’s e-search engine. Next, the PPO examines whether there are so-called absolute obstacles against granting protection for a trademark. If it does not find them, the mark application is published in the Bulletin of the Patent Office (BUP).
For a period of 3 months from the date of publication in BUP, runs an opposition period , during which third parties may file an opposition against the trademark application.
If no opposition is filed and the office finds no absolute obstacles against granting protection, the mark is gets registred. A decision on granting the right of protection for a trademark – a so-called conditional decision – is usually issued by the PPO within 1-2 months from the end of the opposition period.
The condition for a successful trademark registration is the timely payment of the fees indicated in the conditional decision: for the trademark publication and for its first 10 years of protection. Within a few months after this decision becomes final and if the fees are timely paid, the PPO assigns a registration number to the trademark and issues a hard copy of a certificate of protection for the trademark.
Assuming that the process is completely trouble-free, there is no office action and no one files an opposition, the entire procedure, from the application to the registration date, lasts about 6 months. Another few months one have to wait for the issuance of the trademark certificate.
Provided that the right of protection for a trademark is granted, the protection of the trademark starts from the date of application. However, the ® symbol can be legally used only after the mark has been registered.
The trademark registration procedure at the EUIPO is very similar to the procedure before the Polish Patent Office. If the proceedings are completely smooth, the registration of a trademark takes about 6 months from the date of filing.
At the EUIPO, the application and registration fee, including the the fee for the first 10 years of protection, is paid at the application stage. If the mark is not registered by EUIPO, the paid fee is non-refundable.
A trade mark registration certificate is issued by the EUIPO only in an electronic form, usually within a few days after the registration of the trade mark.
Before applying for a trademark registration, it is worth ordering a professional trademark search, in order to verify whether:
– there are absolute obstacles agianst obtaining protection for a mark – i.e. whether the office may refuse to grant protection of the mark “ex officio”,
– there are earlier marks which collide with the searched mark and, as a result, may constitute an obstacle not only to its registration, but also to its legal use.
A trademark search is not required by any patent office, but it can protect you against spending you money unnecessarily on a trademark application with a high risk of failure.
We will help you to register your trademark. We can conduct a trademark search for your brand.
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