To begin with, the three countries which are parts of the Benelux - Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - have concluded an agreement on the unification of their national trademark laws signed at the beginning of the 60s of the last century. The contract is called The Benelux Treaty on Trademarks and its provisions have been strictly implemented for the past 80 years.
TM registration in the Benelux
Benelux trademark registration is governed by the Benelux Intellectual Property Convention.
From the point of view of production and commercial activities, a trademark is a special symbol of responsibility for product quality, indicating who has the exclusive right to this product and profit, but at the same time, is responsible for it, including for the supply of low-quality goods.
The trademark can take different forms, as follows:
- the words;
- last names and first names;
- signatures (bookplates) and symbols;
- letters, numbers (numbers);
- acronyms (abbreviations);
- slogans (slogans);
- combinations: signatures (bookplates), numbers (numbers), fonts, signs, emblems (graphic symbols); advertising mottos (slogans);
- sketches, drawings, patterns, figures and pictograms;
- portraits of people;
- labels, labels, stickers, tags, hallmarks;
- 3D (external form of goods);
- colors or color combinations;
- sounds, in their specific musical sound.
Who can register TM in the Benelux
Any individual, as well as companies associations who want to register collective trademarks can register TM in the Benelux.
You can submit an application in Danish, English, or French, and must indicate what exactly your trademark is - verbal or it is presented in any other type of trademark. A short description of the distinguishing features of this mark may also be included as additional information.
Applications are best filed electronically - it's faster and cheaper. For a standard application filed in BOIP, a state fee of 240 € is applied for filing an application online and 276 € in print.
A formal examination is carried out with respect to the application. At this stage, the regulating body only considers whether the applicant is entitled to own the TM and whether there are absolute grounds for refusal (for example, if the mark is descriptive or does not have distinctiveness). It is important to note that no examination is conducted to evaluate earlier conflicting characters.
The main point of the legal protection of a trademark is considered to be ensuring the individualization of companies, goods and services, which is designed to protect the reputation of the product, as well as protect consumers from misrepresentation regarding the manufacturer or the properties of the goods. In addition, the trademark also has the goal of creating the product itself a certain status in connection with the associative relationship that arises from the consumer in connection with the trademark. Depreciation of the brand entails significant costs for market participants.
The intellectual property right for a trademark, invention, and copyright object consists of property and non-property rights. Before talking about the protection of intellectual property rights, such a right must be obtained: have documentary evidence of your rights, that is, a certificate for a trademark.
Without TM registration in the Benelux or in the EU, its protection is not guaranteed, unless the trademark in question is well-known to the general public, in accordance with the Paris Convention.
Advice for startups planning to register a TM in the EU
It does not make sense to register TM immediately in all countries at the initial stage if you want to register a TM in the EU. It is better to do it step by step as you move into new markets.
Applying for a trademark in the EU is worth a month before entering the market or at the time of exit. For failure to use a trademark in the European Union, competitors may withdraw or challenge it. The same patent bot or a half-hour search for a template on the Internet will help register TM in the EU.
However, without lawyers in this case you can not do.
You can register TM in the Benelux and take full advantage of the European brand by contacting the competent lawyers of IQ Decision UK. We also provide comprehensive legal support in resolving disputes regarding trademarks in the EU. Please fill out the form below to contact us directly.