Registration of marksi Inherent registrability
A trademark application is filed before the Registrar either electronically or in hard copy form. As noted below, the relevant fees will vary depending on the form of submission used by the applicant. Initially, the Registrar examines whether the application has any deficiencies. If it has, then the Registrar will communicate with the applicant to proceed with the relevant corrections within a term of two months. If the applicant does not proceed with the indicated corrections within the specified term, the application will be rejected. If the application does not have any deficiencies, the Registrar will proceed with an examination of the typical requirements according to Section 22 and 23 of the Trademarks Law. If the application does not meet the typical requirements, then the Registrar calls on the applicant to rectify accordingly within a term of two months. If the applicant does not rectify within the specified term the application will be archived and the applicant will be notified accordingly.
For a hard copy submission, the official fee for the registration procedure for one trademark in one class is €141 and €102 for each additional class. If the trademark application is filed electronically the official fee will be €129 for one class and €94 for each additional class.
If no opposition is filed, the registration procedure will last approximately six to eight months from filing to registration.ii Prior rights
The Registrar offers the opportunity for every applicant to file a request to obtain a preliminary opinion on whether the application contradicts any absolute or relative grounds for registration. However, this preliminary opinion is not binding. It is, nevertheless, highly recommended that the applicant makes use of this preliminary opinion procedure as well as perform his or her own trademark clearance search before filing.
The official fees are €99 for the first class and €77 for each additional class.iii Inter partes proceedingsOpposition
As regards a trademark application being opposed by the Registrar, on the basis of either absolute or relative grounds according to Section 6 and 7 of the Trademarks Law, the applicant will be accorded a term of two months to either recall its application or restrict it (i.e., by restricting the classification list). The applicant also has the opportunity to submit its observations. If the Registrar decides that the trademark is registrable, it is then published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus.
At the publication stage, any third party will have the opportunity to raise an opposition to the registration of the trademark within a term of three months from the date of the trademark's publication.
Upon establishing that the opposition meets the formal requirements according to the trademark regulations, the Registrar will furnish the applicant with a copy of the opposition and all supporting documentation. In cases where the opposition is based on relative grounds, the parties will have a two-month period to settle the matter amicably. This period can be extended for up to six months provided both parties agree to an extension.
If the parties do not conclude with the agreement, the opponent will have a two-month period to file supporting evidence and to explain in detail the grounds of its opposition. The evidence will be forwarded to the applicant and the Registrar will request the applicant to file its observations and rebuttal evidence. The rebuttal evidence will be forwarded to the opponent who will have a right of reply within a further two-month period. If a reply is filed, it is then forwarded to the applicant. After this stage, the opposition procedure is considered closed and the Registrar will proceed with the issuance of its decision.
Furthermore, if the applicant files a request for proof of use against the opponent within the two-month period provided for his or her observations, the opponent will have to file its observations and evidence that prove substantial use of the trademark within the two-month period provided for his or her reply.
According to Section 28 of the Trademarks Law, an opposition based on absolute grounds can only be filed by a person that has a legitimate interest. If the opposition is based on relative grounds, then the opposition can only be filed by owners of earlier trademark rights.
If no opposition is filed, the Registrar issues the trademark's registration certificate after the expiration of the three-month period.
The official fee for the submission of an opposition is €348.Revocation
A trademark will be liable to revocation if:
- for a five-year period from registration no genuine use has been made for the goods or services registered or its use has been postponed for five years;
- due to its conduct or inertia, the trademark or its common trade name has become generic for the goods or services registered; or
- as a result of the use of the trademark by its proprietor or with his or her consent in respect of the goods or services for which it has been registered, it is likely to mislead the public, particularly as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of those goods or services.
The revocation procedure begins with the filing of an application before the Registrar. The Registrar then notifies the applicant to proceed with the filing of evidence to support the revocation action within a two-month period. The Registrar then forwards the application and supporting evidence to the trademark proprietor, requesting his or her observations within a further two-month period. The trademark proprietor will have to furnish the applicant with copies of his or her observations. If the applicant chooses to not submit any observations, then the Registrar will decide the action on the basis of the evidence before it. If the proprietor choses to proceed, the applicant has the opportunity to file observations in reply. After this stage, the revocation procedure is deemed to be completed and the Registrar will proceed with the issuance of its decision.
However, no revocation action will be successful in cases where the proprietor proves that there is reasonable cause for the lack of genuine use of the trademark or if, after the expiration of the five-year period, but before the filing of the revocation application, a genuine use of the trademark has commenced or resumed. However, the commencement or resumption of a genuine use of the trademark within three months before the filing of the revocation application will not be taken into account if the preparatory actions for the commencement or resumption of the genuine use of the trademark took place after the proprietor was informed that there was a possibility for the filing of a revocation application.
The official fee for filing a revocation application is €348.Invalidation
The procedure for invalidation begins with the filing of an application before the Registrar. The Registrar then notifies the applicant to proceed, within a two-month period, with the filing of the evidence supporting the invalidation application. Upon receiving this evidence, the Registrar provides copies of the invalidation application and of the supporting evidence to the proprietor of the trademark, requesting that he or she files his or her observations within a term of two months. The proprietor of the trademark files his or her observations before the Registrar and provides the applicant with copies of his or her observations within two months. The applicant can file observations in reply within a deadline of two months.
The official fee for filing an invalidation application is €348.iv Appeals
An appeal can be filed to the Supreme Court within 42 days from the date of a final decision of the first instance court or within 14 days on the occasion of an interim decision.
On the occasion of a decision issued by the Registrar, a judicial review can be sought through the Administrative Court within 75 days from the date of the decision. An appeal from the Administrative Court's decision can then be filed to the Supreme Court within 42 days from the date of the decision.