Absolute grounds for refusal are grounds for refusal such as lack of distinctive character; Descriptive information to be kept free for general use; a national emblem included in the mark; There is a violation of good morals or public order or other obstacles to trademark registration.
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The absolute barriers to protection are called absolute barriers to protection because, unlike the relative barriers to protection (relative barriers to protection are the barriers to protection if someone has already registered a trademark), they exist independently of the legal positions of third parties.
Absolute obstacles to protection are essentially the protection of the interests of the general public, and that applies in particular to competition. Trademarks that have been registered against the absolute grounds for refusal (for example, terms that are common in an industry and that must be available to everyone) can be deleted.
This usually happens through the respective patent offices or through competitors or an everyone’s application, which can be made by anyone.
Brands with a descriptive character such as “good hairdresser” for hairdresser, “delicious chocolate” for chocolate, “quick haircut”, “24 hour fitness center”, “smart consulting” or similar descriptive information cannot be registered as trademarks.
Every competitor must also be able to use this one name and therefore these names cannot be approved as trademarks due to absolute protection barriers.
In addition to the direct description of a service or product, there is usually no individual mark of origin if the brand name has such a strong factual reference to the goods or services that one normally cannot believe that an individual mark of origin is a brand.
Even if these have been approved as trademarks, it is possible to have them deleted. Protected geographical information, such as is usual for wine, sausage products, cheese or other foods, is excluded from this.
The absolute barriers to protection refer above all to trademarks that consist exclusively of descriptive information or symbols.
However, a trademark can certainly be designed by using modifications to describe details, for example by combining two word components or two words or a modification takes place in a similar manner. In this way, the user can already be given an impression of what the brand is about without falling under the absolute protection value.
Even if your trademark should now fall under the absolute barriers to protection, for example by describing the activity you do, we can help you to modify the trademark in a form so that it can be approved as a trademark.
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Steps to Trademark Registration
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Frequently asked questions
What is a trademark?
A trademark can be a sign of all kinds, in particular words, including personal names, or images, letters, numbers, colors, the shape or packaging of the goods or sounds, insofar as such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one company from those of other companies and to be presented clearly and unambiguously.
Why is it important to trademark your brand?
A trademark application or an entry in the official EUIPO trademark register can increase the value of your brand and the company. A registered trademark offers protection and reputation because the registration of the trademark grants its owner an exclusive right of use. Third parties can be prohibited from using the brand.
How much to register a trademark?
In the best case, the pure official fees are 850 euros, in the most expensive 1800 euros. A nice class is always included, a second class costs 50 euros and each further then 150 euros in pure official fees. Litigation can result in significantly higher costs if, for example, a mark in a Nice class has not been used for more than 5 years.
How long will be the EU trademark protected?
The protection of the EU trademark lasts 10 years from the registration date and can be extended for 10 years at a time.
What are the types of trademarks that can be protected?
The most common is the wordmark and figurative mark (logo or design). A wordmark consists exclusively of words or letters, numbers, other typographic symbols. Figurative marks (logos or designs) are marks in which non-standardized characters, stylizations, or layouts, or colors are used.
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