It is not forbidden for anyone to apply for registration of a trademark in Austria. If you want to register a brand in this jurisdiction, you must first make sure that your brand has a clear distinction and that your mark can be graphically represented. Despite progress in this direction in other European countries, you cannot yet register an olfactory mark in Austria. One of the reasons is precisely that such a sign cannot be represented graphically.
Unregistered TMs in Austria
Austrian legislation gives protection to trademarks in the country, even if the TM is not registered locally. However, there is a condition: an unregistered TM in Austria must be directly used in the course of real commercial activities. For example, if it is a unique name of an establishment, outlet, and so on. Domain names also fall into this category.
But it is possible to obtain full and direct protection of TM in Austria only after registration of intellectual property.
Special brand characters
Symbols and other distinguishing characteristics used to distinguish one enterprise from another are considered to be a corporate special designation. In particular, it can be letterheads, stamps on business papers, as well as special packaging, the shape of goods, etc. In order to enjoy the protection of corporate designations in Austria, it is necessary to provide evidence that this particular sign has specific distinctive features and this is known in the environment by at least a narrow circle of specialists involved in your activities.
Protection of foreign famous brands in Austria
The foreign brand owner has every right to protect his brand from any imitation. If during monitoring it is found that someone wants to register a TM in Austria or use a sign similar to a well-known brand inside Austria, which can mislead consumers, then the owner of a well-known brand can file a lawsuit without a moment's delay and he will have every chance of winning the case. It is only necessary to provide undeniable evidence that the local applicant or user is acting in bad faith and prevents the foreign owner of the TM from entering the domestic market.
Procedure and timeframe
You can get a certificate of registration of an Austrian TM fairly quickly – within six months at the most. However, the process can take several years if a third party opposes the registration of your TM. This can happen for many reasons. The main one is that your brand is similar to the one already registered to the point of confusion, and this can cause confusion when a potential consumer cannot distinguish the goods of one manufacturer from the goods of another.
As soon as your TM is entered in the Trademark Register, the trademark registration in Austria is considered valid.
The local patent office does not issue a brand renewal certificate after the official 10 years of use. Apart from the renewal fee, no other requirements, such as confirmation of the use of TM in Austria during this period, are required.
If you have any questions regarding the registration of intellectual property in Austria, the experts of our company will give comprehensive answers to them during the consultation on TM registration in Austria. We are also ready to provide a full package of services if you need to protect TM in Austria and other EU countries.