FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What can Otmore do for you?

Otmore is taking the traditional way of working with intellectual property rights, IT and trademark communication to a new level by providing high-end consultancy services that guide you from the start to the finish line and beyond. We are the obvious partner, providing your company with a professional guidance in the complex world of online brand protection. By working proactively, we will put you in a strategic advantage, letting you focus on your business, assured that Otmore is protecting your company.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another. A trademark creates recognition for customers and value for the brand.

Why should I register my trademark?

A registered trademark gives you an exclusive right to your brand in the market/s it is registered in. It is an assurance that you are not infringing on other registered marks, and it will help increase the value of your brand while your company is growing.

Is trademark protection important for the value?

Yes, it is. There is several advantages a good and proactive trademark strategy can give you:

  • If you are negotiating with investors this can be used advantageously in the process.
  • The exclusive right to the trademark name will help customers to find you and your trademark will have a chance to increase in value over time while the business is growing.
  • When the time comes and you want to sell your business and trademarks, you almost in all cases get a higher value. How much higher? Well, this depends. Otmore and our consultants can help you set up a strategy for the future
What can be protected by a registered trademark?

The most common trademark registrations are words, logos and slogans. However, it is also possible to register 3D-marks, colours, sounds and scents, often referred to as non-conventional/non-traditional trademarks. What can be protected varies between jurisdictions, please contact Otmore if you would like to know more about this topic.

What is a Trademark Classification?

The trademark system uses classification to distinguish different products and services from each other. It makes it possible to register trademark names that are exactly the same as other registered marks, as long as the products/services are not the same or too similar.

There are various classification systems but the best known and most commonly used is The Nice Classification (NCL). It includes 45 classes, of which 34 are for products and 11 for services.

It is not possible to add more classes once a trademark application has been filed. Should you want to add or change anything, you have to file a new application, which is both time consuming and expensive. That is why it is very important to always consider the future of your company/brand when preparing your application. Where will your company be in five years?

How long is a trademark registration valid?

In most jurisdictions, a registered trademark is valid for 10 years before it must be renewed. Keep in mind that you must use your trademark to be able to keep the registration, should a third-party try to cancel your mark.

Due to long renewal timelines, we have seen actual cases where the owner forgot to renew its trademark. You should not be one of them! Contact us to find out how we can secure your trademark portfolio.

Who can own a trademark?

A trademark can be owned by an individual, a company or several holders combined.

What is important when choosing a trademark name?

There are many aspects to take into consideration when choosing a trademark name. At first, a descriptive name can be positive, but it may also cause confusion with other brands and be difficult get exclusive rights to.

Think outside the box may be a cliche but also a very good advice. Take Apple for example, the name of a fruit as trademark for a company that has nothing to do with fruit – genius!

What is the plan for your company/brand in the future? You can save both time and money by choosing a well-thought-out name, instead of having to file new applications if you decide to launch new products or enter a new market. Not to mention should you be forced to re-brand completely

What does trademark infringement mean?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion about the source of the goods/services.

How long is the application time?

For EUTM the application process is about 4 months. Assuming that no one objects against the trademark application and there is no Office Action.

 What does an Office Action mean?

Different jurisdictions have different rules when you apply for a Trademark and the authority will examine your application. You will be sent an Office action if your application doesn’t fulfil the requirements needed. For example, the process within EUIPO (EUTM) is the following:

  1. Classification – The goods and services you seek protection for are reviewed to see if they have been correctly classified and their nature has been clearly indicated
  2. Formalities – All the details you have entered on your application are reviewed to make sure that everything is as it should be; the signature, languages, owner and/or representative data, priority and/or seniority claims are all reviewed.
  3. Absolute grounds – Your trade mark is analyzed to see whether it is distinctive but not descriptive.
  4. Translation – Your trade mark application is translated so that details of it can be published in all the official languages of the European Union.
What is WIPO?

WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization, is a global forum for intellectual property services, policies, information and cooperation. When you have a registered trademark, you can use it to file an application through WIPO and cover up to 191 of their remember states with one single registration.

What does Claim of Priority mean?

If you are submitting a WIPO application within 6 months after lodging an application in the EU, we will be able to request priority, which means that we get the filing date of the WIPO application for EU application. ”First to File” applies more or less in the whole world, which means that this approach is very beneficial.

What is Trademark Search Report – Light?

In the Trademark Search Report – Light, we will search for identical and similar trademarks in international trademark databases (52 jurisdictions). The result will give you a first indication if the Trademark is possible to register and if there are any identical or similar Trademarks already registered. We will also look at the availability of the most common domain names suitable for your trademark.

Is a Trademark Watch necessary for my trademark?

How can you detect similar Trademark applications in different jurisdictions that might infringe on your Trademark? The answer is our Trademark Watch and Monitoring service. Even if a similar Trademark application will be filed, in comparison with your Trademark, the authorities in different jurisdictions will not always give you a heads-up. You have to react yourself. Our Trademark Watch and Monitoring service will do this for you. Contact us for more information.

What is the difference between ® and ™?

The ® symbol is used to state that a trademark is registered, however the regulations on how to use it varies between different jurisdictions. In Sweden for example, it has no legal significance, but it is contrary to the Marketing Act to use it for an unregistered mark. While in the US, the ® symbol can only be used after the mark has been registered and if it is used for an unregistered mark, it may result in claims of fraud.

The ™ symbol is used as an indicator that a word, logo or other sign is a trademark. It is usually used for unregistered marks that are claimed as trademarks. Use of the ™ symbol is not a guarantee that the mark will be protected under trademark laws and it can still be used even if registration of the mark is refused.

Otmore recommends that you use the ® sign.

What is a Trademark Objection?

A submitted trademark application has, in most regions, an objection period where an objection can be submitted stating reasons why the trademark application should not be accepted and registered.

How does the process look like from the first idea to launching?

The answer is; The Trademark Thermometer. You can describe it as a flowchart for trademarks.

Follow the steps and do it the correct way. Or as we like to call it ”The Otmore Way”.

 

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