How to gain ownership of your rights?
A trademark is a word, symbol or phrase used in commerce to distinguish your products and services from those of your competitors. It’s what makes your business unique.
We support you to claim ownership of your business’ identity by registering your trademark. This is a crucial first step on the ladder of developing your business. Your trademark makes you recognisable to customers and other businesses, opening doors for development and partnership.
Many people don’t realise that a trademark is geographically limited, meaning it must be protected country by country. We help you negotiate this tricky terrain to ensure you’re registered in the right territories.
You may also need to register the appearance of your product and any technology that you have invented:
A patent is the right to exclude others from making, using or selling your invention or solution to a problem.
Design registration protects your rights to the aesthetic appearance of your product or its packaging.
We understand that it can be confusing which of these protections your business needs, and in what combination. We fully analyse your needs so that these pieces fit neatly together like a jigsaw, providing you with full protection and peace of mind.
We create a plan to monitor your brands, designs and inventions that includes official databases, marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress), and social media outlets. With the speed of today’s market, it is more important than ever to have someone looking out for your interests.
If someone infringes on your intellectual property, we take action immediately. This could be as simple as a cessation request or involve negotiation of a commercial agreement. If necessary, we will act on your behalf to present a civil or criminal suit. Whatever the problem, we keep an open mind to ensure we achieve the best result for you, with minimum stress.
Maintenance of your rights is key for them to continue to exist. Renewal is part of maintaining those rights and it is done every 10 years. Partial renewals are also possible
Once you have ownership of these elements, it’s time to get the hard work done: selling the product or service directly or through retailers, and creating partnerships with other brands.
Contracts are live relationships that need to be nurtured and only work when both parties see the benefits. We negotiate and draft contracts on your behalf so that all you have to do is watch your business grow.
Anything that designates the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin or the time of production of the goods/services to be traded or any of its other characteristics can not be registered as a trademark.
No, a domain name is your address on the internet. Trademark protection is a continues process that starts with trademark registration.
All those elements that help to create a brand image and are used as a commercial tool need to be registered to be owned.
Trademark registration is the way to tell the world, consumers, partners, competitors and other stakeholders, that those brand image elements are owned and their use for commercial purposes is subject to owners' authorization.
Brands can be registered as trademarks in the countries you have commercial interest.
A global trademark does not exist. Registration must be requested in each individual country you have a commercial interest in or where it is possible to use the International application system.
The international application system merely facilitates the application process in a number of countries.
Nonetheless, within the European Union is possible to have a single application/registration for all the member states.
Cost depends on a number of factors, like territory and goods/services traded.
European Union government fees start from 850€.
Spanish government fees start from 125,56€.
Provided there is no issues with your application, granting of your rights may take four to eight months from application date.
Trademark rights are generally valid for a period of 10 years.
Renewal of its validity is possible for subsequent 10 years periods.
No, trademark fees are paid for 10 years within the trademark application.
Intellectual Property Offices in each country, or within the European Union.
Intellectual Property Offices are government specialized agencies.
In Spain is the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) and in the EU is the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The ® symbol is reserved for trademarks that have already been granted.
While the trademark is still pending you can use the ™ symbol.
No, trademarks have a geographic scope. If they are registered in Spain, they are valid in Spain only.
However, if they are registered within the EUIPO they are valid in all 27 member States.
Technically no, but using a specialized professional will help you avoid a few mistakes and headaches.
Trademark registration gives the trademark owner an exclusive right of use over his brand.
That means nobody else can use that registered brand for commercial purposes without the owner authorization.
In the case of infringement of this right, the trademark owner have exclusive legal remedies.
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The registration process has four main steps:
a) availability search;
b) application submission;
c) examination, publication and opposition;
To avoid legal complications an availability search is recommended. We look for potential conflicts (identical or similar trademark previously registered in the relevant territory) within the official databases, market places and social media channels.
We prepare the forms, file it with the relevant authorities and pay the official government fees on your behalf.
In the European Union, the relevant authority - the European Intellectual Property Office or EUIPO, review the trademark application to assess if it complies with the legal requirements.
This assessment does not take into account previously applied for or registered identical or similar trademarks. It is the trademark owner responsibility to monitor the market and the published database.
If the trademark application is deemed to comply with all the legal requirements, it is then published in the official European Union trademarks bulletin.
This publication opens a three month opposition period.
The Opposition is the option, owners of a previously registered trademark, who felt that a new trademark application aggrieved their rights, have to oppose its registration.
Should no opposition be filed within 3 months from the trademark publication or should the opposition be overcome successfully, the trademark is then granted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The whole process from search to registration may take from four to eight months.
The European Union trademark will be valid for a period of 10 yeas from the filing date and may be renewed from up to six months before its expiry date for subsequent periods of ten years.
In recent years, many trademark owners have received letters demanding payment of invoices related to their trademark application.
Please, disregard those letters, since the European Union Intellectual Property Office, based in Alicante, with bank accounts in Spain, does not issue these type of letters. The EUIPO never sends invoices or letters to users requesting direct payment for services.
If you receive a letter with this type of content and you have any questions, please contact us.
Cancellation for non-use
Once a trademark has been registered for a period of five years, it becomes subject to proving there was a real and effective use within the territory of the European Union.
Use is not a requirement for registration, but for the maintenance of the rights.
All EUIPO decisions can be appealed first administratively and later judicially before the European Courts.
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Grace - our guide to finding a brand name will be launched October 21st. Stay tuned.