Trademarks in Spain
Register and protect your trademarks in Spain and across Europe.
What is a trademark and why is it important?
A trademark is a distinctive sign. Its function is to differentiate and individualise goods or services on the market from other identical or similar goods or services. It also identifies a business origin and, to a certain extent, is an indicator of quality and a means of sales promotion.
The importance of leaving an unmistakeable and memorable mark in the minds of customers cannot be understated. Brand recognition and validation help generate loyalty and trust with consumers and ensures that products are sold again and again within a competitive marketplace.
The owner of a registered trademark can prevent any third party from using any similar or identical signs during the course of trade, without consent. This prevents confusion and gives the trademarked brand greater commercial value and gives a more serious, professional image: If someone wants to use your trademark, they must license it from you for a fee.
How can I obtain a trademark?
The process begins with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office website. First, you need to check that the trademark hasn’t already been registered. If your trademark is available, you must complete the trademark registration application on the website and await the resolution, which can takes no longer than 12 months. If someone opposes your trademark or you lack appropriate documentation, it can take up to 20 months.
Examples of trademarks
The following can be trademarked:
- Words and/or names.
- Figures with words and/or name elements.
- Shapes with words and/or name elements.
These are the most common types of trademarks, but there are other examples. Please contact a Lexidy legal expert for a comprehensive list.
How can a lawyer help me?
The help of a lawyer in the trademark registration process is very important. They help to simplify the process and increase the chance of successfully registering your brand.
A lawyer will advise on whether it’s necessary to register a trademark as sometimes there are more suitable routes to achieve a client’s goal. If registering a trademark is the right move, a Lexidy lawyer will discover if the trademark is already registered and then process the required documentation. They will also help avoid any opposition to the trademark’s registration.
Once the trademark is registered, our lawyers will advise on how to protect it from third parties.
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What's needed to register a trademark?
The main requirement for a trademark is ensuring that it’s not already trademarked. After this the process is as follows:
- Filing the trademark registration application.
- Identifying the applicant(s), whether a natural person or legal entity. If the application is made through a representative, the representative’s documentation must be provided.
- The goods and services to be protected, in accordance with the Nice Classification.
- For trademarks with graphic elements, you must include a reproduction of these.
- For 3-D trademarks, its reproduction must be graphic or 2-D via a photograph.
- Payment of application fees.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The processing takes approximately six months. However, according to the Trademark Law, the maximum period available to the Spanish Patent & Trademark office is 12 months if the application has not been rejected and has not been opposed. This increases to 20 months if it has been rejected or has been opposed.
The trademark registration last ten years from the date of application, after which it must be renewed six months before it’s due to expire. A surcharge is applied if it’s within a six-month window of expiry. The surcharge is 25% for the first three months and 50% for the following three months.
Trademarks are protected throughout Europe and can be applied for directly at the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
International trademarks, however, don’t guarantee adequate protection in all countries worldwide. This type of trademark is part of a registration system for countries that are members of the Madrid System and parties of two international treaties, known as the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.
Trademarks are not enforceable globally but only in the countries that are members of the Madrid System. This covers 116 countries and trademark can be protected in the European Union this way.
It should always be noted that the system cannot be used to protect trademarks in other non-member countries.
The following can be trademarked:
- words, including personal names
- the shape of the product or its packaging
However, they must:
- distinguish the goods or services of one business from those of other businesses.
- be represented in the Register of Trademarks so that authorities and the public at large to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection and precise object of the protection granted to its owner.
Trademark Law simply states that it’s not possible to register trademarks where there is a risk of confusion by the public. This risk includes the probability of association with the earlier trademark.
You can visit the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office website and search its database. You can search for national trademarks, European trademarks and international trademarks that are in effect in Spain. If it does not appear there, it is not registered.
The cost of registering a trademark depends on the method of payment.
If paid digitally, it costs €126.61 for first class registration and €82.02 for the second class. other methods cost €148.96 for first class and €96.51 for second class.
For a European trade mark, there’s also a difference between digital and other registration methods. Digital costs €850 euros, while other methods are €1000 for first class. For second class, both cost €50.
Es importante aclarar que, una vez presentada la marca, los productos y/o servicios no pueden ampliarse y la marca tampoco no puede alterarse. No obstante, en caso necesario, los datos del titular sí podrían modificarse, previo pago de las tasas correspondientes.
A trademark is a distinctive sign and its function is to individualise goods or services on the market from other identical or similar goods or services. It also identifies the business origin and, to a certain extent, indicates quality.
The trade name is the sign or denomination that identifies a company in the course of trade and distinguishes it from other companies performing identical or similar activities.
The trade name, therefore, distinguishes the company that manufactures or markets the goods or provides the services. The trademark, on the other hand, distinguishes the goods or services manufactured, marketed or provided by that company.