Considerations on trademark protection

There are a number of basic considerations you and your business will need to make, perhaps along with your professional consultant, to clarify which application process suits you best. The most common are listed here:

When should I register my trademark?
You should consider registering your trademark when:

  • You want to ensure that you can easily prove that the trademark belongs to you
  • You are thinking of expanding your business with new products or services within the next five years
  • You have a logo that you use with your company name
  • Your business is about to introduce new products or services at trade fairs for the first time

Should I perform a preliminary search?
Before you choose a new name or logo, it is a good idea to check if there are other company names or product names or logos that are similar to yours.

Before you file an application, it is therefore a good idea to check whether similar trademarks are already registered. You can do this yourself by performing a search in the available trademark databases. However, this search will give very limited results.
If you want to have a more in-depth preliminary search, you can get help from the relevant national authority or from professional consultants.

Where do I want my trademark protected?
In connection with the registration of your trademark, you should think about which countries you want your trademark to be registered in. Do you only want to have your name and logo to be protected in your national country, or do you want them protected in several countries?

For example, if you are considering exporting your goods and services to other countries, you should make sure that your trademark is registered in the countries in question. In this way you avoid that others copy you, and that your customers find it difficult to distinguish between you and your competitors.

You should also investigate the possibility of getting your mark registered in the country where you are manufacturing, since trademarks can only obtain protection in countries where they are registered. In actual fact, another company can legally produce and sell products and services under your trademark in the countries in which the trademark is not registered, and thus also prevent you from selling your products under your own trademark in these countries. Others will even be able to register your trademark before you manage to do it yourself.

Remember use requirement
If you have not put your trademark to use in the five year period following the date you registered it, you run the risk of losing it. You must also be able to prove that you still use the trademark for the goods and services for which it is registered.