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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?
There is no requirement for a power of attorney if the applicant uses an agent to file for registration of a mark on its behalf. If an application is nonetheless accompanied by a power of attorney, it must be submitted in the original form. There is no requirement for notarisation or legalisation.
What information and documentation must be submitted in a trademark registration application?
A trademark application must include:
- a description of the mark (written or by way of an attached image);
- a specification of the goods or services that the application concerns; and
- the applicant’s signature.
The applicant must pay the registration fee in order for the application to be reviewed by the Patent and Registration Office.
What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application?
Under the Trademarks Act (2010:1877), a trademark may consist of any signs capable of being represented graphically. In order to fulfil the criteria of graphical representation, a trademark must have a representation that is clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, intelligible, durable and objective.
Are multi-class applications allowed?
Is electronic filing available?
What are the application fees?
Electronic filing costs Skr1,800 for the first class and Skr900 for each additional class. An additional fee of Skr500 is payable if the electronically filed application includes goods or services that have not been chosen from the list of pre-validated terms offered by the Patent and Registration Office. Non-electronic applications cost Skr2,300 for the first class and Skr900 for each additional class.
How are priority rights claimed?
An applicant wishing to claim priority must indicate the time, place, applicant and application number of the priority application. The Patent and Registration Office may direct the applicant to prove its right to priority by filing:
- a certificate indicating the applicant’s name and the filing date issued by the authority that received the priority application;
- a copy of such application certified by the relevant authority; and
- a representation of the trademark.
Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?
The Patent and Registration Office offers pre-filing search services, but it is not required.
What factors does the authority consider in its examination of the application?
The Patent and Registration Office examines whether:
- the application meets the formalities (ie, if it contains all required information); and
- there are any absolute or relative grounds for refusal, including if the mark lacks distinctiveness or can be confused with an earlier right.
Does the authority check for relative grounds for refusal (eg, through searches)?
Yes, the Patent and Registration Office conducts searches in order to ascertain whether the trademark is confusingly similar to for example Swedish trademarks, EU trademarks, Swedish company names and distinctive surnames.
If the authority raises objections to the application, can the applicant take measures to rectify the application? If so, what rules and procedures apply?
Yes, the Patent and Registration Office will ask the applicant to fix the deficiencies or file a statement within a specified period if the application fails to meet the formal requirements or the Patent and Registration Office raises any objections. For example, if objections have been raised due to a risk of confusion with an earlier trademark, a statement might include proof that the applicant has received consent from the earlier trademark’s owner. If the applicant fails to respond in due time, the application may be removed from the Patent and Registration Office’s files.
Can rejected applications be appealed? If so, what procedures apply?
Yes, a rejected application can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court within two months from the decision. The appeal will be sent to and examined by the Patent and Registration Office. If the office does not reconsider its decision following such an examination, it will forward the appeal to the Patent and Market Court. Patent and Market Court decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required. Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Patent and Market Court of Appeal grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.
When does a trademark registration formally come into effect?
If the Patent and Registration Office finds that the application meets all of the requirements, the trademark will be registered and a notice of the registration will be published in the Trademark Journal. If no oppositions are filed, the trademark will become effective from the date the application was filed.
What is the term of protection and how can a registration be renewed?
The registration takes effect from the date of filing the application for registration with the Patent and Registration Office and is valid for 10 years after the date of the registration. The registration can be renewed for 10 years from the expiry of the previous 10-year period. The renewal is accepted when the renewal fee is paid. Payments can be made online or through a bank giro payment.
What registration fees apply?
The registration fee is the same as the application fee. The same fee applies regardless of whether the application is approved or rejected (ie, there is no additional fee).
What is the usual timeframe from filing to registration?
Approximately three to six months.
Can third parties formally oppose an application? If so, on what grounds and what rules and procedures apply?
Third parties can oppose a trademark registration. Once notice of the trademark registration is published in the Trademark Journal, third parties may oppose the registration wholly or partly. An opposition of the registration specifying on which grounds it is filed must be filed with the Patent and Registration Office within three months from the date of publication. The trademark registration owner and the opposing third party can then file statements arguing their case before the Patent and Registration Office (the number of statements vary and there is no set number). Following the exchange of statements, the Patent and Registration Office decides whether to revoke the registration as a result of the opposition.
Any third party may oppose a registration on the grounds that the trademark:
- lacks distinctiveness;
- consists exclusively of a shape which results from the nature of the goods or a shape that is necessary in order to obtain a technical result or a shape which gives substantial value to the goods;
- is contrary to law, regulations, principles of morality or public policy;
- could deceive the public concerning the nature, quality, geographical origin or any other circumstance relating to the goods or services in question;
- includes, without permission:
- a state or international emblem or a municipal coat of arms which, under law, cannot be used as a trademark without authorisation; or
- something that can easily be confused with such an emblem or municipal coat of arms;
- includes, without permission or can be confused with, a mark which cannot be used without authorisation as a trademark under the Act on Protection for Marks in International Humanitarian Law (2014:812); or
- contains or consists of any sign, which is liable to be conceived as a geographical indication for wines or spirits and concerns wines or spirit of a different origin.
Subject to an objection by the rights holder of the trademark registration, only third parties with a legitimate interest may oppose the registration on the grounds that the trademark:
- is identical to an earlier mark for identical goods or services;
- is identical or similar to an earlier mark for identical or similar goods or services if a likelihood of confusion exists, including the likelihood of association between the proprietor of the trademark registration subject to the opposition and the holder of the earlier mark;
- is identical or similar to an earlier mark which is known by a significant part of the relevant public and the trademark registration subject to the opposition would take unfair advantage of or without due cause, be detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the earlier mark;
- can be confused with a symbol that, at the time of the application, was being used by a third party in Sweden or abroad and is still in use, if the applicant was acting in bad faith at the time of the application.
- is likely to be perceived as another party’s company name;
- is likely to be perceived as another party’s distinctive surname, a well-known artist’s name or similar if the use would disadvantage the bearer and the name does not obviously refer to someone long deceased;
- is a picture of someone who is not obviously long deceased; or
- infringes another party’s copyright, photograph or design.
What is the usual timeframe for opposition proceedings?
The timeframe for opposition proceedings is determined primarily by how many statements the opposing third party and the owner of the trademark registration file. After the exchange of statements between the parties has finished, the Patent and Registration Office will render its decision within approximately two to three months.
Are opposition decisions subject to appeal? If so, what procedures apply?
Yes, opposition decisions can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court. Patent and Market Court decisions may be appealed to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal is required. Decisions of the Patent and Market Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court only if the Patent and Market Court of Appeal grants a right to appeal. Leave to appeal is required for the case to be tried by the Supreme Court.
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