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Trademark registration in Spain

Trademark registration in Spain is a simple step that does not take long, but it is a fundamental step in the launching strategy of a product, a service or a business model.

One of the most important things we think about when creating our own company is the name we will use, how it will work… In order to carry out all this one of the essential steps is the registration of the name that we are going to give to our project.

The trademark is the main element with which a company identifies itself. It is retained in the consumer’s mind and its registration is a type of protection that grants its owner, whether an individual or a legal entity, the exclusive right to use the distinctive sign deposited to distinguish its corresponding products and services.

If something is not registered, in this case, registered in the Trademark Registry, it can be used by third parties without legal consequences.

What do I have to do to register a trademark in Spain?

Trademark registration in Spain is obtained after filing an application with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO).

The SPTO is an autonomous body of the General State Administration (AGE) that promotes and supports technological and economic development by granting legal protection to the different types of industrial property through the granting of patents and utility models, industrial designs and, as in this case, trademarks and trade names.

Before filling out the trademark registration application, we must carry out some previous steps, which are also essential:

  • We check if the trademark exists.
  • We access the OEPM trademark locator and search for our trademark.
  • If we see that our trademark does not exist, we can register our trademark.

The registration of a trademark can be done in person by filling out the application form and submitting it at the OEPM or at the Regional Industrial Property Information Centers.

To carry out this registration online, at the OEPM we must follow eight simple steps:

  • Access the application for the submission of the application for the submission of the application.
  • Enter the applicant’s identification data.
  • Enter the data of the distinctive sign you wish to apply for.
  • Prepare the list of goods, services or activities for which you want your distinctive sign to be registered.
  • Attach the relevant documentation.
  • Review the draft application
  • Make the payment of the fee.
  • Download the filing receipt or send it to an e-mail address.

Although the application may be a simple step, it often requires the advice of specialized trademark attorneys to ensure the viability of the application, thus avoiding unnecessary costs for the client.

Processing, granting and duration

The usual resolution time for a national trademark application is 12 months, provided there is no opposition or errors in the application, in those cases it can take up to 20 months.

After the trademark is filed, it is examined and then published in the Spanish trademark bulletin. From the date of publication, two months will elapse within which interested third parties may file an opposition to the registration of the Spanish trademark.

If this period elapses without opposition, the trademark will be registered by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) based in Madrid.

The Spanish trademark has a duration of ten years from the filing date and may be renewed indefinitely for equal periods of ten years. The protection granted starts from the filing date of the trademark.

What types of trademarkas can I register?

The registration of a Spanish trademark is effective in the whole territory of Spain. There are different types of trademarks that can be filed in Spain: the most classic ones would be:

  • Word marks are those that identify a product or service through a name. They can be formed by letters, numbers or several words, and can include orthographic signs.

Some examples of word marks are NIKE, ZARA and LEVI’S, which consist of logos formed by letters in a single color and typography.

  • Figurative marks combine visual elements, such as images, figures or drawings, with letters, words or numbers. They are a mixture of nominative (using only words) and innominate (based only on images) marks.

An example of a mixed trademark is Sanborns or Lacoste, where a representative text is combined with an image or drawing, which gives them a unique and distinctive meaning. This combination facilitates the differentiation of these brands from other similar brands in the market

Other types of trademarks are

  • Sound mark, which consists of the right of protection granted to a melody, a sound or other type of sound effect. An example of this type would be the melody of Mercadona in its supermarkets.
  • Trademark of Form, which consists of the peculiar outward appearance, format, or make of an image. As an example, we find the apple symbol to identify the Apple brand.
  • Position Mark, which consists of the specific way in which the mark is placed or appears on the product.
  • Pattern Mark, which consists exclusively of a set of elements that are repeated periodically.
  • Olfactory Mark, which consists of the particular formula that is under a flagrance or odor. For example, the characteristic smell of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing stores.
  • Motion Mark, which consists of or includes a movement or a change in the position of the elements of a mark.
  • Color, which consists of the color itself characteristic for a category of goods or services. An example of this type of mark would be the color of Coca Cola which would be red or Twitter which would be blue.
  • Multimedia, which consists of or includes a combination of images and sound.
  • Hologram, a new category of branding (as of October 1, 2017). Hologram marks are composed of elements with holographic features.

Both the Spanish trademark application and the registration of trademarks in Spain grant the holder the right to access customs protection or to request the seizure of counterfeit goods.
give the holder the right to access customs protection or to request the seizure of counterfeit goods.

For more information on the registration of a national trademark, you can contact Letslaw by RSM, lawyers specialized in trademarks registration.

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