Registration of marksi Inherent registrability
In Denmark, trademark applications are filed with the DKPTO. Online application is available, and an application may be filed in English.37 In the latter case, the application should be accompanied by a Danish translation of the list of goods and services.38 There is no requirement to appoint a representative in Denmark.
The DKPTO will commence processing of the application once the application fee has been paid.39 The application fee for an application that covers one class is currently 2,000 Danish kroner.40 For every additional class, an additional fee of 600 Danish kroner is payable, albeit the fee for the first additional class is only 200 Danish kroner.41 Additional fees, as of 1 January 2019, may be found on the DKPTO website.42
The DKPTO examines whether the formal requirements are satisfied. In addition, and perhaps even more interestingly, the DKPTO examines whether there are any absolute grounds for refusing the application.43
If the DKPTO finds that the application does not satisfy the formal requirements, or that there are absolute grounds for refusing the application, it will inform the applicant thereof. The applicant may then submit its observations, or it may apply for an extension within two months.44 If no observations are received in due time, or if the applicant fails to apply for an extension, the application is rejected, whether partially or in its entirety.45
If no absolute grounds are identified, and all formal requirements are satisfied, the DKPTO proceeds to publish the application (not the registration).46ii Prior rights
The DKPTO first examines for various prior rights in the form of a search report.47 However, applicants may request that no search report is generated,48 therefore allowing for fast-track applications. As a third option, applicants may now request that a reasoned search report be generated.49
If the applicant does not request that the search report is omitted, the DKPTO will search for prior applied and registered trademarks. And if the applicant has requested a reasoned search report, the report will also include the immediate assessment of the DKPTO. It is important to stress that the regular search reports as well as the reasoned search reports are merely intended to be informative, and that they should not be used as a basis for decisions.
Search reports generated by the DKTO are only informative, meaning that unlike other national or regional trademark offices, the DKPTO will proceed to publish the application, even if conflicting prior rights are identified, unless the applicant decides otherwise.iii Inter partes proceedingsOppositions
Historically, anyone could oppose a trademark registration (this was when oppositions targeted registrations rather than applications) in Denmark on the basis of absolute grounds for refusal, while no particular legal interest was required.50 This is no longer the case. Now, a trademark application may only be opposed on the basis of relative grounds for refusal.51
Oppositions claiming relative grounds for refusal may only be submitted by the proprietor of the prior rights on which the opposition is based.52 An opposition must be filed within two months of the date of publication.53 This is an absolute deadline.54
Anonymous oppositions are not allowed. Moreover, an opposition must be reasoned, although not much is required of the reasoning.55 The opposition fee (2,500 Danish kroner) may be paid in a number of ways.56Invalidity actions
In Denmark, revocation and invalidation actions may be submitted to the DKPTO pursuant to Section 34 of the Trademarks Act or, pursuant to Section 33 of the Trademarks Act, to the Danish courts. The starting point is that anyone may apply for revocation or invalidation.57 However, as is the case with regard to oppositions, it is not possible to base an application on third-party rights.58 Moreover, the application must be reasoned when filed, and the applicant must pay a fee of 2,500 Danish kroner, which may be paid in a number of ways.59 If an application is lodged with the Danish courts, the parties will be subject to the rules pertaining to civil procedures.iv Appeals
Any decision rendered by the DKPTO may be appealed to the Board of Appeals for Patents and Trademarks within two months.60 Moreover, decisions rendered by the DKPTO and the Board of Appeals for Patents and Trademarks may be submitted to the courts. However, decisions rendered by the DKPTO, which may be appealed to the Board of Appeals for Patents and Trademarks, may not be submitted to the courts before the Board of Appeals for Patents and Trademarks has rendered its decision relative to the appeal.61