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Trademark basics

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a recognizable sign, symbol, or phrase used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of a particular source.

Why is having a trademark important?

A trademark helps protect your brand identity, helps consumers recognize and differentiate your products or services from others, and can also increase the value of your business.

What can be registered as a trademark?

Trademarks can be registered for any distinctive word, symbol, design, or combination thereof that is used to identify and distinguish your goods or services from others.

How do I know if my business needs a trademark?

If you have a unique brand name, logo, or slogan, you should consider obtaining a trademark to protect your brand identity and prevent others from using similar marks.

How much does it cost to register a trademark?

The cost to register a trademark varies depending on the country, the number of classes of goods or services associated with the mark and in some cases also on the type of the trademark. For additional information, see below.

How often do we need to renew our trademark registration?

In most countries/trademark offices, you must file a renewal application every 10 years to keep your trademark registration in force.

What happens if we don't renew our trademark registration?

If you don’t renew your trademark registration, your mark will become abandoned, and you will lose your rights to it.

Our trademark is registered in our home country. Is it also protected in other countries?

No, only in the countries where the trademark is registered. All EU countries can be covered with one registration, i.e. EU trademark registration.

We do not sell goods or services abroad. However, would it be worthwhile for us to register our trademark abroad as well?

If you plan to sell abroad, it is recommended to register the trademark in the target countries in advance. You should also not forget that you may already sell abroad through your own online store. Additionally, your own domestic client can also sell your products to other countries, for example through their online store or otherwise, in which case it is also worth registering your trademark in the target countries.

Our products are manufactured abroad. Since they are not sold in the manufacturing country, trademark registration in that country is probably not necessary… or is it?

Manufacturing a product having a certain trademark is use of the mark, even if the product is not sold in the country of manufacture. In a bad case scenario, the export of the goods may be prevented if the trademark can be confused with a trademark registered by another party in that country. Trademark registration in the manufacturing country is therefore recommended.

Our trademark is registered for the products we sell. We have planned to start providing installing and maintenance services for these products, too. Do we need to supplement our trademark registration?

Your current registration may help with trademark protection for installation and maintenance services of these products, but it is very uncertain. It is highly recommended to extend trademark protection to installation and maintenance services. However, they cannot be added to the current registration, a new trademark application must be filed.

Can I get a refund if my trademark application is rejected?

No, trademark offices (EUIPO, USPTO, etc.) do not offer refunds for rejected trademark applications.

Can we use the ® symbol or the ™ symbol before our trademark is registered?

You can only use the ® symbol after your trademark is registered in the country you are using the trademark. You can use the ™ symbol to indicate that you are claiming ownership of a trademark, even if it is not yet registered. There is no legal basis that makes use of the symbol ® or ™ compulsory. However, if your trademark is not sufficiently distinctive for the goods/services in question, and for which you would like to build distinctiveness by using the mark to get a trademark registration, the use of the ™ symbol is highly recommended.

Can we use our trademark before it is accepted for registration?

Yes, you can. A trademark may be used at any stage, even before filing the application. However, this use does not guarantee the registration of the trademark. Also,iIf someone else has a prior right to the mark to be confused with, that may affect your right to use the mark.

What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright?

A trademark protects a brand’s identity and prevents others from using similar marks, while a copyright protects original creative works, such as literary, artistic, and musical works.

Can a trademark protect my business name?

Yes, a trademark can protect your business name if it is used to identify and distinguish your goods or services from others.

EU trademark application

What is an EU trademark application?

By filing an EU trademark application, you can get exclusive rights to your trademark in all current and future Member States of the European Union through a single registration.

What is the difference between a national trademark application in an EU state and an EU trademark application?

A national trademark gives protection only in the European Union Member state in which it has been registered. An EU trademark registration covers all current and future EU Member States.

How much does it cost to file an EU trademark application?

An official fee of 850 EUR must be paid for an EU trademark application, including one trademark class. The official fee for the second class is 50 EUR, and from the third class onwards it is 150 EUR/class. In addition to this, there will be our attorney fee of 395€. For reporting you about possible office actions, threads of oppositions/oppositions and other contact there might be relating to your application we will charge 180 EUR each. About costs thereafter we will inform you before you need to decide whether to proceed or not.

In which language must the EU trademark application be filed?

It can be filed in any of the 23 languages of the European Union. In addition to the filing language, a second language must be selected from the following five Office languages: English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. The second language must differ from the first language chosen and will be used as a language for possible opposition and/or cancellations proceedings.

How long does it take to get an EU trademark registration?

The handling of an EU trademark application usually takes 1-2 months, but if the pre-approved terms have been used in the list of goods and services of the application, and the official fee is paid within a couple of days from filing the application, the handling of the application will only take 1-2 weeks. Possible office actions extend the handling time, as do possible oppositions made against the application. The opposition period is three months from the publication of the application.

How long is an EU trademark valid?

An EU trademark registration is valid for 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely.

International trademark application (Madrid System)

What is an international trademark application?

With an international trademark application, a trademark owner has a possibility of having its trademark protected in several countries by simply filing one application for all designated Madrid System member countries.

Which Office will process an international trademark application and how long does it take?

An international trademark application is submitted to WIPO via the national trademark office. WIPO will check the formalities of the application and then send it to the countries designated in the application. The national trademark office of each designated country processes the application for that country. Processing at WIPO typically takes 1-4 months, usually depending on how quickly the official fee is paid to WIPO and a possible irregularity letter is responded to. Depending on the country, the national trademark office has 12 or 18 months for processing the application. In many countries, however, it will not take that long. The processing time usually increases if an obstacle to the registration of the mark appears (for example, a previous right). In any case, trademark rights start from the date of the application, if the mark will be registered.

How much does an international trademark application cost?

An official fee (basic fee) of 653 CHF or, in case of a mark in color, 903 CHF must be paid for an international trademark application to WIPO. In addition, there is a complementary fee and/or supplementary fee to be paid depending on the countries designated and the amount of trademark classes. In addition to this, there will be a government fee to the Office that transmits the application to WIPO and our attorney fee. For reporting you about possible office actions, threads of oppositions/oppositions and other contact there might be relating to your application we will charge 180 EUR each. About costs thereafter we will inform you before you need to decide whether to proceed or not.

Will I be informed if the trademark office of the designated country does not accept my trademark?

Yes. In that case, the office will issue a provisional refusal, which we will receive from WIPO and inform you about. The provisional refusal may apply to the application in whole or in part. You will be given a deadline within which to respond to it. In general, the response must be submitted to the office through an agent operating in the country. There will be additional costs for work due to the provisional refusal. We, however, provide you with an estimate of the response costs so that you know the costs when deciding whether to respond to the provisional refusal or not. Receiving a provisional refusal is especially likely if the designated countries include the US, Canada, Japan and/or South Korea. However, the possible provisional refusals from these countries are typically given out at the earliest six months after the application is filed.

Can I add countries to the international registration afterwards?

Yes, you can. For countries added later, the trademark rights begin on the day the application for designated additional countries is submitted to the office (and provided the application is accepted in additional countries).

What does it mean that an international application must be based on the same applicant’s trademark registration or application in the applicant’s home country?

The international application must be applied for the same mark the company has registered or applied for in its home country, and the applicant must also be exactly the same. The list of goods and services can be the same or narrower than in the registration or application in the applicant’s home country. For five years, the international registration is dependent on the validity of the national registration. If the national application is not accepted, the national registration is canceled or goods/services are removed from it during this time, this effect also applies to the international application/registration. However, in such a case, the international application/registration can be converted into a national trademark application in the designated countries, keeping the same start date of the trademark rights.


In which countries is it possible to apply for registration through the Reggster.com service?

In the European Union and its member states, in all countries that can be designated in an international trademark application (Madrid System), and in many other countries.

How can we file a trademark application through the Reggster.com service?

You only need to provide information about the trademark and your field of business (incl. the main goods and services you provide), after which you will receive the results of the trademark identity search and our recommendations, including a proposal for the application’s list of goods and services. After you have selected the mark or marks to be applied for as well as the goods and services for the application(s) and paid our fee, we will file the application and send a confirmation to you. After filing the application, we will charge you for the government fee, and we will inform you, if such a thing were to happen, of possible office actions, threads of oppositions/oppositions and other contact there might be relating to your application. Actions thereafter will be agreed with you.

How much does it cost to use the Reggster.com -service?

For an EU trademark application, we charge 395 EUR and for individual countries from 150 EUR per country depending on the countries and whether an international or national application(s) will be filed. For reporting you about possible office actions, threads of oppositions/oppositions and other contact there might be relating to your application we will charge 180 EUR each. About costs thereafter we will inform you before you need to decide whether to proceed or not.