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Filing and registration
Do agents filing for registration of a mark on behalf of the owner require power of attorney? If so, is notarisation or legalisation required?
Yes, power of attorney is required, although no notarisation or legalisation is required.
What information and documentation must be submitted in a trademark registration application?
The application for registration of the mark should be submitted using an application form including the following information and enclosures:
- the applicant’s name and address;
- a list of relevant goods or services classified in accordance with the Nice Classification;
- a graphical representation of the mark;
- collective mark rules (if a collective mark is requested);
- the application number and filing date of the application from which priority is claimed (if priority is claimed);
- confirmation of payment of the application fee; and
- a signed power of attorney (if the application is submitted through a representative).
What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application?
Any sign that is capable of being graphically represented – in particular through words, personal names, letters, numerals, figurative elements, three-dimensional images, the shape of goods or their packaging, combinations of colours and any combination of such signs – is eligible for registration as a trademark.
Are multi-class applications allowed?
Is electronic filing available?
What are the application fees?
The application fee for a mark specifying up to three classes is €100, plus €20 for each additional class.
The application fee for a collective mark specifying up to three classes is €250, plus €50 for each additional class.
How are priority rights claimed?
The applicant can claim a right to priority within six months from the date of first filing in order to be able to file the mark in another country. To claim priority rights, both countries must be members of the Paris Convention.
Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?
The IP Office offers a search service for identical and similar trademarks. The official fee for a trademark search is €65. However, the IP Office’s search report does not include an opinion on registrability of the mark. The search is not mandatory.
What factors does the authority consider in its examination of the application?
The IP Office first examines the application for compliance with the formal filing requirements. If the application meets these requirements, the IP Office proceeds with the examination for absolute grounds of refusal. The mark is published if the application passes both of these examinations.
The IP Office will examine the application for relative grounds for refusal if an opposition against the application is filed with the IP Office within three months from the application’s publication date.
Does the authority check for relative grounds for refusal (eg, through searches)?
Only if an opposition is filed against the application.
If the authority raises objections to the application, can the applicant take measures to rectify the application? If so, what rules and procedures apply?
If the IP Office raises objections to the application, the applicant will receive a notification thereof in which the IP Office allows the applicant to file observations. The IP Office will decide whether the observations are justified. If so, the IP Office will publish the application and proceed with registration of the mark; otherwise, the IP Office will refuse the application.
Can rejected applications be appealed? If so, what procedures apply?
Yes, an administrative dispute may be initiated against the unfavourable decision and filed with the Administrative Court within 30 days of receipt of the IP Office's decision to reject the application.
When does a trademark registration formally come into effect?
Trademark registration formally comes into effect with the issuance of the registration decision and is valid from the application date.
What is the term of protection and how can a registration be renewed?
The term for protection of a mark is 10 years from the application’s filing date. The mark can be renewed an unlimited number of times (each time for 10 years), calculated from the application’s filing date.
What registration fees apply?
The registration fee for a mark specifying up to three classes is €150, plus €50 for each additional class.
What is the usual timeframe from filing to registration?
It usually takes approximately six to nine months from filing for a trademark application to mature to registration (provided that there are no problems with the application).
Can third parties formally oppose an application? If so, on what grounds and what rules and procedures apply?
Within three months following the publication of a trademark application, the owner of an earlier mark may file a written notice of opposition to registration of the respective mark with the IP Office. The opposition must be based on relative grounds for refusal and contain supporting evidence. The IP Office notifies the applicant of the opposition and allows the applicant to file observations. The IP Office then decides whether the opposition is justified (in full or in part). If the opposition is justified, the IP Office will refuse the application (in full or in part); otherwise, the IP Office will refuse the opposition and proceed with registration of the mark.
What is the usual timeframe for opposition proceedings?
It usually takes from 12 to 24 months for the IP Office to decide in the opposition procedure.
Are opposition decisions subject to appeal? If so, what procedures apply?
Yes, an administrative dispute may be initiated against the unfavourable decision and filed with the Administrative Court within 30 days from the receipt of the IP Office's decision to reject the opposition.
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