Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 5 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
If I register my trademark in Greece, do I have protection in other territories?
No. Your trademark will be protected only in Greece.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
Yes. A power of attorney is required if the application will be filed by an attorney.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
Yes. Pre-filing use of the mark will allow the applicant to demonstrate the mark’s distinct characteristics and win over oppositions filed by third-parties based on non-distinctiveness.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Yes. Interested parties may attack your registration on the ground of non-use.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Greece?
Applicants can register any sign that are possible to reproduce graphically. Such signs must also be able to make the good/service distinguishable from others: names, words, sounds, devices, 3-dimensional shapes, slogans, colors, holograms and trade dress.
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Greece?
The first phase of the application process is the examination of requirements. The applicant must be able to comply with the trademark standards with respect to formality, clarity, classification, distinctiveness, descriptiveness, deceptiveness and possible conflicts in registration. Next phase is the publication of application details which will be done online. Information such as name of applicant, application number, goods/services, etc. will be published. This is also the time when third-parties are given a chance to oppose. If no oppositions are present, the final phase will be the registration of trademark.
What type of trademark is non-registrable?
Trademarks that meet any of the following criteria cannot be registered:
- Marks that contradict public order or counter standards of moral
- Common terms or words that have broad meaning
- Names/symbols/states of state/nation/international organization
- Marks without acquired distinctiveness
- Marks that serve mainly as geographical locations
- Shape of a product
- Marks that may potentially cause deceit to consumers
Does Greece use the "Nice Classification" system?
Yes. The Nice Classification system is effective in this jurisdiction.
Does the Community Trademark apply for Greece?
Yes. Community Trademark is presently known as the European Union Trade Mark. This registration system is effective in Greece.
Is there any possibility to claim priority in Greece?
Yes. It is possible to claim priority or to speed up the process as long as the following requirements are met:
- The home country of the applicant is a Paris Convention signatory
- The application was filed within the past 6 months preceding the application in Greece
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?
Use your trademark within 5 years after the date of registration. The “use” must be genuine and must occur in Greece.
Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
Registered trademarks in Greece are initially valid for 10 years. Validity starts a day after the application date.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
Computation is 10 years from the date when the application was filed.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
Yes. Businesses can use unregistered trademarks legally, but for them to enjoy protection, the following requirements must be met:
- The mark’s characters must be distinctive
- The mark must be used for commercial transactions
- The mark must be used continuously, systematically and substantially for many years
Does having a registered trademark in Greece afford me any right?
Trademarks are mandated to be registered in order for the owners to establish rights. The First to File rule applies in Greece.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?
No. Actual use is not mandatory for registration. Intent to use is also not required.
What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?
Grounds for opposition are:
- Bad faith
- Proprietary rights
- Conflict with an earlier registration
- Breach of copyright
- Violation of rights under Article 6septies, Article 6bis and Article 8 of the Paris Convention
- Conflict with registered designs
- Personal name rights
- Unauthorized use of protected insignia and emblems
Who can contest my trademark registration?
- Any interested party may oppose the registration based on absolute grounds.
- Owners of an identical mark that was registered at an earlier date may also petition to cancel the registration.
- A licensee of a registered trademark may also object to registration provided he is allowed to do so in the license contract and the license was registered in the trademark office.
- Chambers of Commerce and Consumers Unions may also oppose based on absolute grounds
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
Yes. Cancellation of registration is possible. These are the grounds for a registered trademark to be cancelled:
- Violation of proprietary rights
- Descriptive marks
- Non-distinctive marks
- Deceptive marks
- Functional marks
- Breach of copyright
- Violation of rights under Article 6septies, Article 6ter and Article 6bis of the Paris Convention (consult us for more information)
- Violation of registered designs
- Violation of rights to personal name
- Marks that are generic or have broad meaning
- Marks that indicate a geographical location
- Registration of marks in bad faith
- Marks that violate standards of moral or public order
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?
Yes. Owners of registered trademarks establish the following rights:
- Exclusive rights to use the mark
- Right to object to conflicting applications
- Right to request for a cancellation of conflicting applications
- Right to take legal action for infringement and obtain damages from the offending parties
- Right to issue license to third parties
- Right to request for confiscation of fake goods by customs authorities
How long is the opposition period?
The opposition period will start on the date the trademark application was accepted and published on the website of the General Secretariat of Commerce, and it will end 3 months after that date.
Is Greece a member of the Madrid System?
Yes. Greece is a member of the Madrid Protocol.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
The owner of a registered trademark is not required to submit periodic statement of use.
When should I renew my trademark?
You must renew your trademark every 10 years.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
Computation is 10 years from the date when the application was filed.
Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?
If the renewal will be performed by the same local attorney, non documentation is necessary.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
In case you failed to renew your trademark on time and it is already expired, you still have 6 months to renew it.
What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.
With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.
Some symbols to consider:
® Means the trademark is registered.
TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?
There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.
A patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.
You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.
Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.
A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.
What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?
You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.
- TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
- SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
- ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
- ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
- Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
What are trademark classes?
Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories. When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity.
There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the 'Nice International Classification'.
These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics.
Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes. It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.
You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search
Why do I need to perform a trademark search?
Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name?
Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation.
It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class. That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.
Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?
No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find professional help. Our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list identical and similar trademarks, and finally, it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Where can I perform a trademark search?
If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.
Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended for many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.
A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.
You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.