Why to register your mark?
A registered mark protects a company’s products and services, becoming the most important asset of the company. If you don’t register properly you incur the risk of loosing the trademark to other person who will register it. Duly registering a trademark secures its use in the intended territory.
The law grants the applicant the right to prevent any other person from using an identical or confusingly similar mark, thus protecting the differentiation of your products and/or services and suppressing the risk of confusion in the market.
Besides, ownership of the trademark assures you the ability to sell, assign or license the trademark for its use at your convenience.
Professional advice on this matter is very important, as an expert has the appropriate tools to determine the possibilities for a trademark to be registered, to choose the right categories to protect, to duly submit the registration application and to solve any processing issue along the way. Moreover, the professional will monitor the trademark and warn its owner of due dates, keeping anyone else from registering similar trademarks that might mislead the customers.
How long is the protection valid?
In Spain, in the European Union and in most countries of the world, trademarks have a 10 year legal life and are renewed indefinitely every 10 years.
In which territory does the protection applies?
The trademark will be protected in a determined territory, depending on the place where registration is applied for.
Registration application can be made at each targeted country’s national office or at territorial Offices, where the trademark is granted protection in several countries with one single registration. This modality of protection is a fast, easy and more cost-efficient system than national trademark systems, and allows for a smooth processing managing as opposed to a number of different national registrations in every State.
The European Union trademark is a modality through which protection can be applied for to cover a trademark in all 28 EU member States with one single registration at the EUIPO – European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The OAPI Treaty allows for a trademark protection in the following African countries with one single registration: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Togo.
What is the International Nice Classification?
Trademarks are usually registered to protect specific products and/or services. These products and services have been categorized by its utility or use in the International Nice Classification: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/.
It is best recommended to get advice from an expert on which classes you should register your trademark under.
How long does it take for a trademark to be granted?
The Spanish Patents and Trade Marks Office is currently taking around 5 to 6 months for granting a trademark, from the moment of application and in issue-free processing scenarios.
I have received a letter requesting an additional payment
DO NOT PROCEED TO ANY PAYMENT FOR OTHER ENTITIES APPROACHING YOU IN RELATION WITH YOUR INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY REGISTRATIONS
Warning on deceitful letters
The Spanish Patents and Trade Marks Office (OEPM) has been made aware that applicants and agents are receiving fraudulent letters and e-mail messages requesting fee payments for services related to trade marks, designs and models, such as publication, registration and inclusion in companies lists. Sometimes these documents make a malicious use of the OEPM name, including counterfeit replication of OEPM letterheads, stamps and signatures.
The OEPM warns that this type of fraudulent documents are not issued nor supported by the OEPM and don’t have legal validity. The organisations sending these papers have nothing to do with the OEPM, and there is no relation whatsoever to its official publications. (See counterfeit fee transmittal form).
It can also be at times companies allegedly related to the Industrial Property field. They use information they get from OEPM official publications and send misleading payment letters to applicants or agents, providing details of a bank account where to make the transfer. This kind of companies usually have a fake website to show a fabricated professionalism. Again, it is reminded that these letters are not related to any OEPM processing and the OEPM has no relation to those companies. (See instances of counterfeit payment letters).
Any OEPM communication is always made through a document duly identified with the institutional emblem, name of Ministerial Department to which it is attached (Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism) and the official logo and appellation. Applicants and other people concerned must carefully check the documents they receive on this matter, consulting with the OEPM in case of any doubt, and must not make any payment unless its issuance by an official source is verified.