What is a Trademark
A trademark is one kind of an intellectual property containing numerical, word, label, the shape of goods, color, name, symbol, or any combination that makes your brand different from others and communicates brand value to customers. Reliance on unregistered rights requires that you demonstrate, amongst other things, that your trademark has goodwill sufficient to distinguish your products or services. For some businesses this will not be problematic, for others this may prove difficult, if not impossible, to prove.
A registered trade mark is a monopoly right and so prevents an unauthorised third party from using the trade mark (or something similar) in relation to identical or similar products and services for which the trade mark is registered (within the jurisdiction where the mark is registered). Whilst it may also prove necessary to show that there is a risk of confusion caused by the unauthorised use, there is no requirement to show that your trade mark has a reputation so as to demonstrate infringement.
Put another way, your right to the trade mark is established by its inclusion on the trade mark register. The mere fact of registration can prove to be a valuable deterrent to would-be infringers and is an asset that you, as a business, can exploit.
Registration of Trademarks in Cyprus
Whilst the most common trademarks are logos and brand names, trade mark protection can be sought for a much wider range of marks, including designs and packaging. Used effectively, a trademark can distinguish your business and its products from those of your competitors. Consequently, a trade mark can be a valuable asset, warranting investment in its protection, so as to prevent damage to a business or dilution of its brand. Our clients’ trademarks, service marks and designs can be managed and safeguarded at the national, European and international levels.
In Cyprus, there is no strict requirement that a trademark be registered. However, in the event that a third party uses your trademark in Cyprus without your consent, your ability to prevent that illicit use is strengthened if you have a registered trademark. National protection of a trademark is secured via the Cyprus Registrar of Companies, as determined by the provisions of the Trademark Law Cap. 268.
Registration of Trademarks Europe
At the EU level, we access procedures overseen by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EUIPO issues registrations for trademarks and registered community designs (RCDs) that have effect throughout the European Union (EU). The EUIPO coexists with and complements national protections by examining trademarks and design applications, while facilitating convergence of practices among EU state IP offices.
These intellectual property rights are valid across all member states of the EU, but are separate rights from the trademark and design rights issued by individual EU member states. The EUIPO is a separate agency from that of the European Patent Office (EPO), which focuses on patents in European countries.
Finally, for international safeguards of trademarks, service marks and designs, our clients benefit from the Paris Treaty on the Protection of Industrial Property, to which Cyprus is a signatory, as administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
How our trademark lawyers can help
At Harris Koufettas & Associates LLC, our expert team of lawyers frequently advises on trademark issues, such as the preparatory steps to be taken when considering the launch of a new brand (such as clearance searches), as well as preparing and submitting your trademark application to the Cyprus Registrar of Companies (Intellectual and Industrial Section), for both new and established unregistered marks.
Our lawyers can advise on any objections or oppositions raised to your trade mark application by either the Cyprus Registrar of Companies or third parties and pursue the application through the registration process.
For businesses who already have a trademark (registered or not) and are concerned that a third party application conflicts with thatmark, we can advise on how to oppose that trademark application, as well as whether Court proceedings could be appropriate.
Once a trademark has been registered, our lawyers can help you maximise the value of your trademark (e.g. through licensing) as well as helping you protect against unauthorised use, by advising on and acting for you in infringement proceedings.
If your business is international, our team can liaise with external advisors, so as to arrange for trade mark protection beyond Cyprus.
For more information on how our Lawyers can assist you, please call 70002204 for Cyprus, +35797793528 from abroad or contact us via our online form for a guaranteed response.