A trademark is an important part of running a successful business, used to protect a brand. But not all brands are registered as a trademark. So, should you register your brand as a trademark in the EU?
The purpose of a trademark is to distinguish your goods or services from the ones of your competitor and to protect your brand. This ensures that no-one can copy your brand you will have a right to stop anyone from using your trademark without your consent. A trademark should also be clearly defined, which means it should be certain of what it covers.
We recommend, that you register your brand as a trademark as soon as possible after you have developed the goods or services and are ready to offer those to the public.
Only the registration gives you the exclusive right to offer goods or services under the trademark.
What types of trademarks can you register in the EU?
There are different types of trademarks you can register in the EU:
WORD MARK – one word or a combination of words (a slogan); a combination of letters; a combination of words, letters and numerals; a combination of letters and numerals etc., that can be typed without any design.
COMBINED MARK – word(s), letter(s) or numeral(s) in combination with design.
FIGURATIVE MARK – consists only of a design.
OTHER – shape mark with or without word elements; pattern mark, colour (single/combination) mark etc.
How to register your brand as a trademark?
There are 3 options for registering.
- If your business is local, then you may apply for the trademark registration in the local Patent Office. In Estonia, for example, the application can be filed online with Estonian ID card/e-Residency ID card. In UK the application can also be filed online to Intellectual Property Office.
- If your business is within the EU, then you may apply for the trademark registration in the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). An application can be filed online.
- If your business is worldwide, then you should apply for the trademark registration in the World Intellectual Property Organization. An application can be filed via the local Patent Office.
How can 1Office help?
Before applying for a trademark, you need to be sure there isn’t a similar one registered already, and you need to think through the future activities to be protected by the trademark. We can help you to register the trademark in following points:
- Conducting the preliminary search in the trademark databases for checking similar trademarks
- Preparing the trademark registration application
- Communicating with registration officials and advising you during the registration process.
Sometimes the terms trademark, copyright and patent are mixed up and it is important to understand the difference between them. All of these are used to protect intellectual property rights, but they are regulated by different institutions. A trademark protects a brand name and logo used on goods and services. A copyright protects an artistic or literary work and a patent is used to protect an invention.
So, if you are planning to start a business or have already done so, you should definitely think about registering your brand as a trademark if you do not wish to deal with problems in the future. Even if it can seem quite unimportant in the beginning, when your business grows and takes off, someone can show up and take advantage of your unregistered brand. Therefore, if you wish do get more information about registering a trademark in the EU, do not hesitate to contact us.