Trade Marks In Spain:
According to the legal definition, a trade mark is any sign used to differentiate one company’s product or service from the one of its competitors.
“Trade mark can be word marks, graphic or figurative (a combination of both word marks and figurative trade.”
The procedures that must be carried out to register a trade mark are the following: when the client has decided the name that he wants to give to his products or services to distinguish them, it is recommendable to conduct a search. With this search, client will be able to know if other prior names may file an opposition against the chosen name.
For this reason we strongly recommend to conduct a previous search on the chosen name to designate the products and services, which must be included in one or more than one of the 45 classes of the International Nomenclator in force. In the section “Nomenclator” of our web you can find the complete list of classes.
The search can be obtained in two or three days and it gives accurate information about the possible problems that one may find during a trade mark proceeding.
If the results of the search are positive, it is possible to file a trade mark application. In order to file this application we will need client’s personal information, the word name or logo (if we are talking about a figurative or a graphic trade mark) and a signed power of attorney.
At the “Forms” section you will find and can download a file that contains an individual Power of Attorney. You may also find a “General Power of Attorney” that allows its registration in the Trade marks and Patents Office so that no more Power of Attorney are necessary in the future.
Once the trade mark has been filed, some days after we obtain the original receipt of application, which includes the number that will be always present in the trade mark application.
After two or three months, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Bulletin. From that date starts by law a two months period, so any third person may lodge an opposition. With the letter informing you about this procedure you will receive another, related to the possibility to extend the protection of the trade mark in foreign countries. This last proceeding, if desired, must be carried out within the priority term of your trade mark (six months from the application date).
Once this term finishes, the trade mark must be examined and revised by the Examiner and if it there is neither oppositions nor administrative objections (generic or geographic) Spanish Office will accept the trade mark. Often, application is granted in nine or ten months from the application date.
Once the grant is published the official certificate will be issued and trade mark will be valid for a period of ten years from the application date.
Trade Mark In Foreign Countries:
A trade mark can be registered in foreign countries. To do so, three systems can be followed:
a) Community Trade Mark: it can be filed Community trade mark application with protection all over the 27 countries, in order to protect a trade mark in countries that belong to the European Union. It should have to be taken into account that this is a single and union trade mark, that is to say, it is granted in all the countries but if it is denied through a national trade mark, the Community trade mark “collapses”. In this case every trade mark can be established as a national trade mark in each country that was not objected.
b) International Trade Mark: It is a single application, valid for different countries that can be chosen depending if we use the Madrid Agreement or the Protocol. It is examined as a national trade mark in each country. This type of trade mark saves a lot of money in comparison to national individual application.
c) National Trade Mark: is a mark registered in a country which is not under any agreement. This is the case of Africa, Asia and most of Central and Southern countries in America.
Apart from the trade mark there is another distinctive sign, the trade name. It is used to distinguish the commercial transactions of a business. Its procedures and validity are the same as the ones for the trade marks. For any questions about it please consult the trade mark section.