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We have collected some vital frequently asked questions below. If you cannot find the answer to all your questions below, feel free to contact us and our experts will revert to you as soon as possible.

How long does it take to register a trademark?

The registration time varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Several months are normal for the registration to be finalized, and it can take much longer. Your application, however, gives you priority from the time you applied. From the time of your application you will therefore have a de facto protection against anyone applying or taking up the use of your trademark after the application date. Shortly after receiving and reviewing your order, a member of our legal team will be in contact to discuss the application process and inform you about the expected registration time.

What type of mark should I choose?

If you are registering a brand, you will normally either want to register a word mark or a graphical mark. The choice depends partly on the brand itself: some brands contain no words and thus cannot be registered as a word mark (e.g. the Nike “swoosh”). Even if your planned brand contains letters or words (such as most logos) you may want to opt for a graphical mark if the visual impression of your logo is more important than the words. Where combined marks can be registered, our legal team will normally contact you after we receive your order to discuss whether this may be the best option for you. Likewise our legal team consider that you have opted for the wrong type of registration we will normally contact you to discuss the application and advice you as to what type of mark to register.

What do you need from me to initiate the registration process?

The documentation may vary depending on the jurisdiction you are registering in. If you are registering a graphical mark, a combined mark, a 3D mark or a sound, you will be asked to upload a file with your mark as you complete our online form. We will review this and may ask for more information. In some cases we may require documentation regarding the registrant (such as certificate of incorporation), and in such cases we will always contact you and discuss the requirements.

What exactly do you do?

As a trademark registration agent, we assist you in the whole application process. Prior to filing an application we will do initial searches to check that there are no obvious conflict with existing trademarks. We will look at your business description and select classification(s) that both match your goods and services and at the same time offers as wide as possible protection for you. Our legal team will use the latest Nice Classification to correctly apply the classes you are seeking protection for. We will complete all the application forms and file these on your behalf with the registrar(s), ensuring all information is correct and that the process will be as swift and easy as possible. Where possible we will list ourselves as agents on the application, and thus remain the main point of contact for the registrar, saving you time and hassle.

Can I do this myself?

Yes, anyone can apply directly for a trademark registration, though language and legal requirements may make it necessary for you to use local agents in jurisdictions outside your own. Applying for a trademark can be time consuming, and unless you are used to working with legal matters and familiar with the Nice classification system, it may be difficult for you to seek protection in the right classes. The Nice classification system is complicated and some classes may overlap or be so similar as to cause problems if not properly covered. Under the Nice classification, class 29 covers “fruit based snacks”, for example, while class 30 covers “cereal-based snack food” and class 43 physical snack-bars. Indiscriminately increasing the number of classes covered can seriously increase the government fees connected with your application. If you use our service we will always look at your application and suggest classes that offer the widest possible protection, while at the same time avoiding registration in classes where protection may not be necessary. If we think it is advisable for you to apply in more classes than what is included in the standard applications, we will contact you and suggest necessary amendments in your application and discuss your overall trademark protection.

We will also conduct initial searches before filing the application. Based on our finding in this phase we can suggest changes in your application already at this stage. It is not uncommon for a private trademark application to take 10-18 months in many countries, before being returned because of technical reasons or class conflicts that could easily have been avoided with proper legal advice at the pre-application stage. We therefore recommend that you use the service of a trademark agent when applying for a trademark.

Do I still have to pay if my trademark registration is refused?

This varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and also the reason for rejecting your application. Before applying for a trademark, we will always do initial searches to check for conflicts with existing trademarks, and we will always do a general review of your application. If, at this initial stage, we believe that your application will not be accepted, we will contact you to discuss the matter. Often the issue can be solved by amending the classes applied for or by making subtle changes to the trademark. If you do not wish to proceed with the registration at this stage, we will always refund 100% of our fees.

How long does a trademark registration last?

This may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However in most countries the initial protection last for 10 years, after which the trademark can be renewed.

I already have my brand as my domain name. Do I need to register it as a trademark as well?

Yes! A domain name registration does not prevent a competitor trading under your brand. And even more importantly: if someone else registers your brand as a trademark before you do, they can in some cases force you to relinquish the domain name!

My brand is my company name. Do I need to register it as a trademark as well?

Yes! Incorporating a company will in most jurisdictions not stop competitors using your brand as a trademark or trying to register your name as their own trade mark. In most jurisdictions the registrar of companies will only prevent the registrations of names that are exactly identical to yours. So if you have incorporated “Roger’s Service Ltd”, anyone can for example register “Roger’s Services Ltd”. This is very different from the protection offered by trademarks where you are protected against any similar mark that may confuse potential clients. Most importantly: If you have just registered a company, but no trademark, anyone can apply for a trademark registration and potentially stop you from trading under your own brand!

What are trademark classes and why are they important?

Trademark protection is usually offered in a single industry or for a specific type of services or goods. So if someone has registered “Donald’s Nuts” in a class covering “fruit-based snack food” someone else may still set up a mental institution called “Donald’s Nuts”. In this case the brand is the same, but it is unlikely to cause any confusion in the market, and thus it is rarely a problem for the trademark holder. However the Nice classification is complicated and some classes may overlap or be so similar as to cause problems if not properly covered. Under the Nice classification, class 29 covers “fruit based snacks”, for example, while class 30 covers “cereal-based snack food” and class 43 physical snack-bars. In such instances failure to register in all the correct classes can cause considerable problems later. Working with a professional trademark agent such as TRADEMACK will help give you the maximum protection for the type of service and goods you plan to offer.

Can I sell my registered trademark?

Yes. A trademark is considered a type of intellectual property and like other properties they can be bought and sold.

Should I use ™ or ® after my trademark?

These symbol indicates that the mark you are using is an intellectual property. However the circled R indicates specifically that your trademark is properly registered. Using the circles R without a proper registration is illegal.

Can I change the classes covered after my trademark has been registered?

No. A trademark registration can usually not be amended, and if you want to achieve protection in additional classes you would in most jurisdictions have to file a completely new registration. When applying for a trademark you should therefore always keep in mind that your business may expand with new goods and services.