Trademarks in Spain
A trademark includes a distinctive sign-words, drawings, symbols and other graphical characters- which differentiates a product or service within a given market or geographic area. Although not compulsory, it can be registered on a national or international level and the importance of doing so will depend on the scope of your business and the importance of protecting your reputation in the market.
Before registering a trademark, it is advisable to do a preliminary search to make sure that the trademark in question (or something similar) is not currently in use. If the trademark authority considers that the trademark you wish to register is sufficiently similar to a currently existing one that it could lead to confusion, it is unlikely that they will allow it.
Spainwide offers a trademark search service to make sure that your trademark is still available for use in Spain
Registering a Trademark
An application for registration of a national trademark can be made in the Oficina de Patentes y Marcas on payment of the fees. These fees go towards the publication of your application in the Official Gazzette. The purpose of this is to allow for anyone who believes their trademark rights are being infringed to make an official claim against your application. The entire process can take up to 12 months before the trademark authority issues you with the official trademark certificate but, assuming that no-one makes a claim, you can make provisional use of the trademark in the meantime. It is important to register the trademark for use in the appropriate categories in which the trademark is going to be use. The International Classification of Goods and Services under the Nice Agreement provides for 45 such categories or sectors and the cost of registration will depend on the number of categories you register under.
The trademark certification is valid for 10 years after which it becomes renewable. Please bear in mind however that registered trademarks that are not used can be struck from the register after 5 years.
Spainwide can assist you in the entire process of registering a trademark in Spain