Access all the information you need to clear doubts regarding trademark registration. If you can’t find the answer to your question under the Frequently Asked Questions section, you can contact us via chat, contact form, or over the phone.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A trademark is the identity symbol that allows your company products and services to stand out from those of your competitors. Among other things, logos, product packaging, holograms and sounds can be registered as trademarks.
All of these serve the same purpose of helping your current and potential clients identify your products and services.
Registering a trademark makes you acquire the ownership over the distinguishing sign that is being protected. By registering a trademark:
- You can prevent unwanted imitations or copies made by competitors or third parties, who may make an improper use of your trademark.
- Your identity is built with an absolute guarantee to avoid having to renounce to it in possible conflicts with third parties.
- Your trademark is consolidated, getting the exclusivity of your emblem in the market.
- An intellectual property asset with marketable value is created.
- Words or combinations of words, letters or numbers and their combinations (for example, the name of your company, product or service).
- Images, illustrations, symbols, and graphics. Your logo would fall within this group, as well as any other image that distinguishes the product or service.
- Three-dimensional shapes. It is possible to register a product wrapper, containers, or a product shape.
- Sounds, such as a jingle or a characteristic sound linked to the product or service.
- Any combination of the above signs or media, in addition to multimedia, motion, and color files.
- Non-distinctive signs: That is, those that don’t serve for indentifying your company among others.
- Generic signs. For example, the word ‘Pizza’ cannot be registered as a trademark to market this type of food.
- Descriptive signs, such as mere geographical or quality indications, among others.
- Signs that are confusing, or that may be regarded as misleading.
- Any sign contrary to what’s established by law, or which may affect public order.
- Forms inherent to the product they represent.
- Some protected signs such as flags, shields, etc.
- All those terms that have become a common designation for a product or service (e.g. tablet or kalimotxo).
- Designations of origin, geographical indications, traditional terms for wines, or guaranteed traditional specialties, as well as registered plant varieties.
A trade name is the sign or designation that helps identify a company and distinguishes it from others engaging in the same or similar activities. The trademark, however, helps distinguish products and services offered to end-consumers.
Both are protected by ownership titles granted by the State, which offer their holders the right to use them exclusively. Apart from protecting different things, they differ in the fact that the trade name cannot be internationally expanded, as it has to be registered country by country, following specific laws and provisions of each territory; contrary to how Trademarks are handled (international trademark and European Union trademark).
A trademark is valid for ten years, as of the application date; however, it can be renewed as often as desired, provided that the necessary processes are carried out, and the corresponding fees are paid.
The Nice Classification is an international agreement for product and service classification within a commercial sector.
Trademarks can be registered within one, several, or in every existing category. Identifying which are the most suitable is fundamental not only to obtain the register, but also to make it sound and coherent.
- Chemical Industry
- Paints, varnishes, lacquers, colorants
- Cosmetics, cleaning products
- Oils and greases for industrial use
- Pharmaceutical products
- Machinery and mechanical tools
- Hand tools
- Scientific and electrical devices and tools
- Medical devices and instruments
- Lights, heating, cooling, drying
- Jewelry and metals
- Musical instruments
- Office supplies / Stationery
- Plastics and rubbers
- Leather or artificial leather products
- Non-metallic building materials
- Furniture and decoration
- Household/Culinary utensils
- Ropes, tarpaulins, textile awnings
- Threads (textile use)
- Fabrics and substitutes; household linen
- Clothing, footwear, hats
- Carpets and linings
- Toys; video games; sporting equipment
- Animal-origin food and beverages
- Plant-based food and beverages
- Land and sea unprocessed products
- Beer, free-alcohol beverages and soft drinks
- Alcoholic beverages (except beer)
- Tobacco, smokers’ items
- Advertising, administration and management
- Insurance, financial, real estate
- Construction Services
- Transport, packaging, storage, traveling
- Materials processing
- Education, entertainment, culture, and sports
- Scientific, technological and research services
- Catering services
- Medical, hygiene and beauty services
- Legal and security services
Spanish trademark. Under normal circumstances, the procedure for obtaining a Spanish Trademark takes 5 to 6 months. In the case of a European Trademark, it takes between 4 and 5 months. However, incidents such as possible objections against your trademark may extend the procedure.
While a trademark application is being processed, others may object it if they consider there are similarities between them. This does not mean that the trademark will necessarily be rejected, but it will be required to file a reply, in which the reasons why your trademark should be considered for registration are stated.
Once your trademark application has been filed, it undergoes an initial examination, and it is subsequently published. This is when the period for filing oppositions begins. This is a period in which other trademarks are entitled to oppose your registration application in case they consider it is identical or similar to theirs. This period is two months for a Spanish Trademark and three months for an EU one.
A suspension occurs when the receiving office in charge of trademark application provisionally rejects its registration. This can happen for several reasons; for example, if there is a mistake in the application filed, or if another trademark has objected.
Refusal with products and services amendment:
In this case, the SPTO or the EUIPO consider that the description of products and/or services does not adjust to the Nice Classification, and require the type of product and/or service to be specified. It may also be the case that a product or service is not classified correctly, which may lead to the payment of an additional class fee. In addition, in the SPTO, when responding to this suspension, it is necessary to pay a modification fee.
Refusal due to opposition:
The applicant has received an opposition from a third party who considers that this new trademark damages their priority rights, it is possible to respond to this suspension, and, then, the SPTO or EUIPO will decide on the case.
Absolute grounds of refusal / Others:
In the event the SPTO or the EUIPO consider ex officio that the trademark does not comply with the requirements imposed by law, it is usually suspended for lack of distinctiveness, because the mark is descriptive of the activity (see: What’s not allowed to register as a trademark?).
Similarly, in the SPTO, a combination of these three reasons for suspension may occur at the same time.
The application for a trademark does not necessarily imply that it has been granted to the applicant. In order to have the registration made, the application must be approved by the corresponding office (Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, Intellectual Property Office of the European Union), which will refuse it if it does not meet the necessary requirements or a third party has opposed your application with consistent arguments.
The trademark application service can be paid at the time of ordering it by credit card, or later on, by bank transfer. Once the corresponding amount has been paid to Singular TM, your application process will get started and you will not have to make any further payments at a later date.