Great, the outcome of the trademark search is that your trademark is still available! Now have it registered promptly, before you use it, because the use alone creates no rights for you. Trademark rights can only be acquired following registration in a trademarks register. Once your trademark is registered, you can take action in case of infringement. This will help you keep your competitors at bay.
Where you want to register your trademark depends on your plans. All countries have their own trademark register. In countries that have joined their registers, a single national registration creates rights across all affiliated countries. You can have a trademark registered in the Benelux area, or outside the Benelux area by means of a national trademark registration, a trademark registration for the European Union or an International trademark registration.
Trademark registration in the Benelux
It is usually wise to first register the trademark in the Benelux. Registration in the Netherlands alone is not possible – Belgium and Luxemburg are thrown in automatically. Once you have a trademark registration, it is valid for ten years, and it can be extended for 10-year periods each time.
Trademark registration outside the Benelux
If you want to use the trademark outside the Benelux, you will need to register it in foreign registers to enable you to take steps against infringement. In general, there are three options to choose from. Each has its pros and cons.
- ‘National registration’. You register your trademark per country. You can do so for a single or a small number of countries, or for less common countries. It is more expensive than collective registration, but sometimes necessary when countries are not signed up to the European Union registration system, the International registration system, or any other collective registration system.
- The ‘European Union registration’. A single trademark registration with the European Trademarks Agency (OHIM) covers all 28 countries in the European Union. It is easy to maintain and cost efficient, but also has its drawbacks. An opposition in a single country can affect the entire registration, for instance.
- The ‘International registration’. This registration system bundles a large number of countries. Many European countries, as well as the US, Japan and China are signed up to this registration system. When you register, you can select the countries that are important now and in the near future. If at some point another country becomes interesting, the registration can simply be expanded.
What would work best for you, is something we can decide together. We have years of experience with the various registration procedures and can tell you exactly which route would suit you best, based on budget, commercial activities and future plans. We are pleased to make you a proposal. Very loud. Very clear.
Advantages of the trademark registration
- You acquire the exclusive right to use the trademark. This means that exclusive use is guaranteed. You cannot be challenged for infringements by others with a later trademark.
- Your trademark allows you to take action against infringing trademarks, tradenames and domain names, as well as against counterfeiting.
- You can use the (R)-sign. This will keep infringers at bay, and inspire trust in customer.
- You can sell or licence the trademark. Registered trademarks are worth money.
‘Design’ covers so much – from the shape of a new perfume bottle to website icons or drawings. A logo can also be registered as a model. This so-called model registration offers extra protection, on top of the trademark registration of a logo.
A product with a distinctive shape is often easy to recognise. Take a Coca-Cola bottle, for instance. To prevent others from using the same design, it is wise to register the unique shape as a model.
For a desgin registration, the design must be new and have its own, distinctive character. In other words, the shape must be unlike anything else. If you are in doubt about the possibility of protecting a specific design, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help. Loud & Clear.