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Trademark. Why and how?

Category: Tips and guides

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the products of companies from each other (logo, company name, typeface, or even the shape of the product, e.g., Coca-Cola has a registered unique bottle shape). An application for registration of a trademark can be submitted by any legal entity or natural person.

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the products of companies from each other (logo, company name, typeface, or even the shape of the product, e.g., Coca-Cola has a registered unique bottle shape). An application for registration of a trademark can be submitted by any legal entity or natural person. 

Trademarks are indicated by the following symbols:

™ — unregistered trademark

— unregistered service mark

® — registered trademark – we will discuss this in more detail in this article

What is trademark registration for:

  • To differentiate. People like brands, if yours is unmistakable, they will easily recognize you
  • It’s a great investment. The value of the most famous brands reaches billions. Often, if someone buys a company, they buy it precisely because of the built brand, not because of buildings, cars, or a good director. The brand can also be the subject of a guarantee when dealing with banks or investors.
  • Protection. If someone decides to copy you, you can legally defend yourself and thus protect your business. Alternatively, you will also earn money from it.  
  • Search protection (Google). In practice, it happens that someone uses your brand in the advertising text of a PPC ad. If you own a trademark, you can disable it using this form. If, in addition to you, your wholesale partners, who also advertise via Google AdWords, also sell on the Internet, you can use an exception to allow them to use your brand only in their advertisements.
  • Image. You can use the ® symbol together with your logo or business name, which can create a feeling of exclusivity for a certain group of people.
  • Trust. For example, if you produce a product that many other competitors also produce, a brand can give buyers the impression that your product and the company that produces it is at a higher level than others.

source: forbes.com https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/#tab:rank

Which trademark to choose?

We know several variants of trademarks, which are distinguished mainly from the point of view of their territorial validity.

It is always necessary to think several years ahead. For example, if you have a start-up working on a globally marketable product, such as a software product. I definitely recommend a trademark with international validity.

If you produce hand-stitched leather cases for mobile phones, or if you are the owner of a law firm, a national trademark valid only in Slovakia is sufficient.

National trademark

Territorial validity – Slovak Republic, or in the state where it was registered at the relevant office

Validity period – 10 years, possibility to extend by 10 years each time

Where can we register a trademark – For the Slovak Republic at the Office of Industrial Property of the Slovak Republic

Trademark registration form

Price list for trademark registration

  • €166 – filing of an individual trademark for three classes of goods or services
  • €332 – filing of a collective trademark for three classes of goods or services.

European Community Trademark

Territorial validity – All EU countries

Validity period – 10 years, possibility to extend by 10 years each time

Where can we register a trademarkat OHIM or at the Industrial Property Office

European Community Trademarks are registered by the OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market). The advantage is that the trademark does not have to be registered in Slovakia first, but you can apply for the European Community Trademark right away.

Registration fee – €850 for online registration via the OHIM form

International trademark

Territorial validity – all countries that acceded to the so-called Madrid agreement or to the Protocol to this agreement

If you want to extend the protection of your trademark in a country that is not a member country of the Madrid Agreement and is not even a member state of the EU, you must apply for its registration directly at the patent office of the country in question. The registration process is then governed by the legislation of the given state.

Validity period – 10 years, possibility to extend by 10 years each time

Where can we register a trademark – at the Industrial Property Office

Price list for registration – The total fee depends on the number and several factors; the price is given in Swiss francs. Schedule of international trademark fees.

Interesting link:

International Application Simulator – based on the selected countries and parameters, this tool will tell you how to submit an application, as well as the amount of the registration fee.

Conclusion

before registering a trademark, don’t forget to check if someone already has it registered by chance:

National trademark registration check.

Community trademark registration check.

International trademark registration check.

I recommend submitting the subsequent application electronically. If you also have a local business and cannot decide whether to choose national or European registration, I recommend the European one. The Slovak market is small, and you never know if you won’t find it, at least in the surrounding countries.

The entire application approval process takes several months, usually half a year, so don’t count on getting it done quickly. 😉

Author
Ľubomír Radič
CEO & Project Consultant

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