Trademarks

  • General comments
  • Clearance searches
  • Different ways to file
  • Renewals
  • Formalities
  • Refusals of protection


General comments
 
The basic rule is that everything that is possible to reproduce graphically is theoretically possible to obtain trademark protection for in Sweden. Consequently among marks that are registerable per se can be mentioned wordmarks, combined word- and device marks, device marks, letter and digit combinations, slogans, colour marks, sound marks, scent marks as well as the shape of goods and packages. Obviously some marks are very difficult to register per se and can in practise only be considered registerable after having acquired distinctiveness through long and extensive use. Furthermore, the Swedish Patent Office is one of the few patent offices in the European Union which still examines applications towards earlier rights. This examination is made also towards Community trademarks and international registrations designating Sweden. An applicant is thus much more likely to receive an official action in Sweden compared to most other European Union countries. When concerning the required level of distinctiveness, it would be fair to say that the level in Sweden is basically the same as is the case for Community trademarks. A very common citation made by the Patent Office is to cite family names as registration obstacles, something that is not very common in EU-countries. 
 
 
Clearance searches
 
Considering the above mentioned fact that an examination towards earlier rights is made by the Swedish Patent Office, it is even more important to perform a clearance search prior to filing an application in Sweden. We always perform at least an identity search prior to filing an application at no additional cost. We also perform minor searches ourselves through either the Saegis or the Edital database and in case the client wants a full availability search, such a search is ordered from a very reliable external company and the turnaround time including our own analysis and evaluation for such a full availability search normally is 1 or possibly 2 working days. The full availability search also covers company names and family names. Another importance factor prior to filing an application is of course the legal evaluation of the mark apart from the clearance search. Consequently we always inform our clients prior to filing an application in cases were we believe the level of distinctiveness to be too low for acceptance by the Patent Office. There could also be the question whether a foreign word or an invented word may have negative linguistic aspect in the Swedish language, which would render the mark inappropriate in Sweden.
 
 
Different ways to file 
 
It is possible to obtain trademark protection in Sweden through either national applications, Community trademarks or international registrations designating Sweden. The Community trademark is available also for companies outside the European Union. Our firm has a number of attorneys authorized to file Community trademarks. We further have a thorough knowledge and experience when concerning filing of international registrations. We are always at our client’s disposal to provide cost quotations in connection with the filing of trademarks applications. 
 
 
Renewals
 
A Swedish trademark registration is valid 10 years from the registration date. A soon as a Registration Certificate is issued we docket the renewal deadline and endeavour to send the client a timely renewal request with a cost quotation. 
 
 
Formalities
 
Normally a number of various changes occur over time in connection with trademark registrations. Consequently there are normally issues such as changes of names of the owner, assignments, mergers, updates on the visual appearance of device marks, changes in the list of goods, changes of address and similar. We naturally attend to any such changes in order to have them properly recorded with the Patent Office. In cases were the same sort of change is to be recorded in a great number of matters, we are always willing to discuss a discount of our fees. 
 
 
Refusals of protection
 
We have a vast experience in stepping in as representatives in connection with international registrations designating Sweden filed by foreign applicants when a refusal of protection is issued by the Swedish Patent Office. If so requested we are always willing to perform a minor initial legal evaluation of the applicant’s chances of success with responding to the refusal at no cost. We further always provide the client with recommendations on the best way to proceed. We have a very high rate of success with the refusals for which we advice the client to proceed by submitting a response. We are always willing to provide a cost quotation in connection with a refusal and if so requested by the client we can also provide a fixed cost quotation.

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