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Trade mark. National, European, International

The term "trade mark" means any sign showing a graph capable of distinguishing the goods or services of a company from those of other companies. The mark must be perceived by the average consumer as an indication of the origin of the products he discerns (origin function).

Signs can be particularly words with distinctive power and ability, names of natural persons, names of legal persons, aliases, depictions - visual representations, drawings, letters, numbers, colors (provided they are established in the trade as a distinctive feature of a particular product or service) as well as the shape of the product or its packaging.

In order to ensure the brand protection for their products and services, the companies must affirm their trademark in order to ensure their exclusive use and prevent third parties from exploiting their reputation and commercialization to consumers. Thus, a trademark can now be enforced at national, European and international level, with the following trademark distinctions depending on their geographical location:

-           National trademark

-           European trademark

-           International trademark

The protection of the Trademark at national level is obtained by its official registration in the Commercial and Industrial Property Directorate (Trade Mark Service), following a relevant Statement of the Beneficiary applying for the registration.

The Submission of a trademark registration declaration should be preceded by legal pre-qualification to establish that there are no elements of the mark to be registered as inadmissible but also the absence of another similar mark with another registered proprietor in order to avoid the refusal of registering or to file objections.

For registration of a trademark, it is necessary to draw up the relevant declaration, which is submitted for examination to the competent Commission, accompanied by the necessary supporting documents. If it is found that there are no grounds for the registration of the trade mark, the registration in question is inadmissible. Within thirty (30) days of the filing of the relevant Declaration and if the formal requirements are met, the relevant National Signal Registration Decision shall be published.

In the event that objections are raised by the Trademarks Committee, the registrant is invited to submit his comments.

The protection of the trademark at national level lasts in principle for ten (10) years, which can be extended every ten years at the request of the proprietor.

The registration of a trademark at the Greek level does not mean that the proprietor of the national trademark is also protected in other European countries. This in practice means that it will have to go further and obtain a trademark in Europe in order to "prevent" its branding more widely (European) so as not to be forced to use a brand-name at national and other brand level at European level, if he / she is taken over by a third party.

Therefore, if an enterprise is not only active in Greece but also in other countries of the European Union, the safest seal is that of the European label. By branding across Europe, the proprietor of a European trademark is legally enforceable as the sole proprietor of his trademark in all the current EU Member States, as well as in what will be added in the near future, meaning that he does not has the ability to select individual European countries individually.

The responsible organization for European brands is EUIPO, the European Union's Intellectual Property Office. EUIPO, based in Alicante, Spain, receives and examines the application by deciding itself for final approval or rejection.

Enabling a European trademark makes the applicant the sole proprietor of this European trademark throughout the European Union. This in essence means that it may prohibit any third party from misusing for the purposes of trade its trademark which is similar to its trade mark, when it, of course, identifies similar or similar products / services.

iii. Finally, international registration of marks is provided for Greece and is carried out in accordance with the Madrid Protocol, which was implemented in Greece on 10/8/2000, by Law 2783/2000, Government Gazette A number 1 / 7-1-2000 and the Ministerial Decision: Κ4-307 / 2-1-01 «Government Gazette B ' 31 / 18-1-2001 ». Members of the Madrid Treaty are 78 countries all over the world.

Under the Madrid Treaty, the proprietor of a national trade mark may, by filing a request to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) based in Geneva, Switzerland, to register his trademark in any of the 78 member countries, he wants.

The term 'international trade mark' does not mean a trade mark registered and protected worldwide, but a set of national marks, such as those selected by the proprietor and which presupposes that those marks are registrable under national law, in each country.

A precondition for an international trademark application to be filed is its prior registration at national or European level. If the conversion of an international mark is made within six months of the prior national or European patent, the applicant enjoys the right of priority in the sense that he has the right to claim the date of the application for the registration of an international trade mark , the earlier date of filing of the national or European mark.

Therefore, anyone who has a real and permanent industrial or commercial establishment or residence in Greece or is a Greek national and has a registered or registered trademark in Greece may apply for an international trademark and designate the countries in which he wishes to be promoted.

The application for international registration is exclusively  written in French or English. It is submitted at the Signal Service, which checks the conditions for the deposit, gives it a protocol number and indicates the receipt date and the number of accompanying documents. The application for international registration with the documents attached thereto shall be forwarded to the International Bureau within two months of the date of receipt and the date of its filing.

In the above-mentioned ways, your trademark can be protected at national, European and international level by granting you the exclusive right to use, by prohibiting its use for the same products or services by any third party. In particular, it grants the right to use it, the right to affix it to the products it is intended to distinguish, to characterize the services provided and to distinguish you from other companies which market similar products or provide similar services.

The law office of miss Kaskitina-Kouskou Svetlana possesses the required know-how of branding, as it has often undertaken to carry out the registration of national, European and international trademarks. Signaling process is a complex process, requiring precision, method, and good knowledge of the subject. Our law firm assumes your legal support and representation when filing your application, which must be drafted in English or French, in the case of a European-international mark, as well as informing you of the required accompanying documents, the calculating of the registration fees but also the legal pre-registration control of the trademark to prevent the rejection of your  registration.

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