What is a trademark? A trademark is a word, a group of words, signs, symbols, logos, or a combination thereof that identifies and differentiates the source of the goods or services of one entity from those of others. There are three situations to consider:
Word mark: a trademark where the mark and its image are equivalent to the trade name, also called nominative brands
Graphic case: a trademark where the brand is equivalent to a symbol, image, or figure
Mixed case: a trademark composed of both a graphic and a text part
Why is it important?
If you're a business, distinguishing your goods or services from others gives you a competitive edge. Registering your trademark at a legal level can protect any competitor from using it.
This is especially important for businesses that envision becoming a franchise or are willing to expand their business to other geographic levels. Your brand can generate not only profit but reputation, which attracts great talents, investors, and other unforeseeable benefits.
Having a trademark may also help you speed up the bureaucratic procedures when dealing with financial institutions like receiving funding or bank loans, it generates a sense of liability and provides the brand with a great presence
Choose the brand name you want to assign to your product or service. It is recommended to choose at least 3 alternatives in case some choices were already registered.
Select the type of products or services to which you want to have your brand registered because each different product or service type has a corresponding code (eg. the code for shoes is not the same as for hats).
When registering the trademark, also select a corresponding epigraph to protect the product or service under that code.
The more product codes you include, the more protection, but the higher the cost of registration.
Assess whether it is possible to register the mark or not. You can check whether online or with OEPM if the name is available. You can simply check if the name of the brand already exists or not.
Register with all the necessary documents for the official application.
At this stage, we need to choose the scope of protection: Spain, EU, or International.
By sending the application, you will get an application confirmation receipt, with which you can acquire a provisional right to protect the trademark.
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office has 2 months to issue a decision.
If your application has been successfully accepted after two months, you will receive a certificate of ownership certifying your right to the trademark.
How long do you own the trademark once you obtain it?
Once you obtain the trademark, you can own it for 10 years legally. Once it expires, you can renew it for another 10 years.
How much does it cost to register a trademark?
It depends on the protected territory and the class of products or services you register for the trademark. Generally, a trademark in Spain for a single product can cost around 125€, and that for the EU can cost up to 850€.
You also need to add the costs of the industrial property agent that carries out the registration.
What can I do if someone starts using my brand name?
Once it is detected, you can first send a complaint letter to the person or entity that copied or used your trademark.
Try to negotiate with them and reach an agreement with them, which can save you time and money.
If this is not working, try to seek the help of a certified lawyer.
Here at Adeslas, we offer business insurance that promises to protect you and your business. Apart from basic protection like fire explosion and robbery, one of the services covered in this insurance is legal protection. By contracting business insurance with us, when the infringement happens, you will get professional legal assistance as fast as possible.
Check out this blog if you are curious about income tax: