Trademarks protected by Kiortsis & Associates Law Offices
The commercial trademark (TM) is a significant firm asset, which guarantees the quality of a firm's goods or services. It is therefore important for the owner to have every trademark protected in order to ensure the exclusive right of its use and to prevent unfair competitors from using identical or similar ones for inferior products or services.
The only way for a TM to be protected is to be formally filed with the appropriate national or regional Trademark Office. It is irrelevant whether the tradesman or the commercial establishment has already used the mark in marketing to the public or is still in the stage of preparing to do so. The trademark will be registered to the party who files the first application for it with the Trademark Office.
The period of protection varies, but a TM can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees. In Greece TMs are protected for 10 years as from their application date and their protection can be renewed every 10 years.
The Law Offices Kiortsis & Associates is currently involved with the protection of approximately 5000 TMs.
We undertake all cases concerning any kind of TM, such as the following:
Watching TMs and effecting their renewal in due time
Representing clients in possible litigations and protecting TMs against infringements
Conducting research at the Trademark Office in order to verify the chances of approval of denominations as TMs
Registration of TM assignments, license agreements, changes of name or seat of the owner etc
Translation of technical or other necessary documents
Trademark registration is possible to obtain in different ways:
National is the TM which is protected only in the country where the relevant application has been filed. The owner of a National TM can be a corporation or a natural person with address in the same or a different country from the one that the TM application has been filed.
The application for National TMs in Greece requires a Power of Attorney simply signed by the applicant, without further notarization or legalization.
NATIONAL COLLECTIVE TRADEMARKS
A Collective mark shall be a TM which is described as such when the mark is applied for and is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the members of the association which is the proprietor of the mark from those of other undertakings. Associations of manufactures, producers, suppliers of services, or traders which, under the terms of the law governing them, have the capacity in their own name to have rights and obligations of all kinds, to make contracts or accomplish other legal acts and to sue and be sued, as well as legal persons governed by public law, may apply for Collective marks. Examples of such associations would be those representing accountants, engineers, or architects.
A Collective Trademark is used for the identification of goods or services of the association members with a level of quality and other requirements set by the association.
The Certification mark is a new kind of TM in Greece, although it has existed in certain national level systems in the EU for some years.
A Certification mark shall be a mark which is described as such when the mark is applied for and is capable of distinguishing goods or services which are certified by the proprietor of the mark in respect of material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, with the exception of geographical origin, from goods and services which are not so certified. In essence, the Certification mark relates to the guarantee of specific characteristics of certain goods and services. It indicates that the goods and services bearing the mark comply with a given standard set out in the regulations of use and controlled under the responsibility of the Certification mark owner, irrespective of the identity of the undertaking that actually produces or provides the goods and services at issue and actually uses the Certification mark.
Any natural or legal person, including institutions, authorities and bodies governed by public law, may apply for Certification marks provided that such person does not carry on a business involving the supply of goods or services of the kind certified.
EUROPEAN UNION TRADEMARKS
European Union Trademark is the TM which is protected in all countries of the Union only with one application for registration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office in Alicante, Spain (www.euipo.europa.eu). The application for registration of a European Union TM can also be filed in Greece, with the relevant Trademark Department of the Ministry of Development and Investment (www.mindev.gov.gr).
In spite of the advantage that only one TM application is sufficient for its registration in all countries of the European Union, there is, however, a disadvantage: If an opposition is filed and accepted against the registration of a European Union TM even in only one country of the Union, the TM will not be accepted as a European Union one, and it will have to be re-filed as a national one in each country where there was no opposition filed or the opposition was rejected.
International Trademark is the TM whose protection was sought in a number of countries (which have become party to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and/or the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement) only with one application for registration with the International Bureau in Geneva (www.wipo.int). The applicant of an International Trademark designates the countries in which he wishes the TM to be registered and the International Trademark application is accepted in the ones that do not have objections or where the objections have been rejected.
An international application produces the same effects as an application for registration of the mark made in each of the countries designated by the applicant. If protection is not refused by the Trademark Office of a designated country within a specified period (12 or 18 months), the protection of the mark is the same as if it had been registered by that Office.