- • Business name registration in Poland
- • Business name registration in the European Union
- • Business name registration for a selected group of countries
- • Business name registration with the help of a patent attorney
- • Is it better to register the company name or logo?
- • What do you gain by business name and logo registration?
- • 1. You prevent the theft of the brand name
- • 2. It is much easier to fight against offenders
- • 3. The possibility of placing the ® symbol next to the company logo
- • 4. Numerous possibilities to make money thanks to the brand
- • 5. The trademark helps in the event of the bankruptcy
Business name registration in Poland
Trademark protection is always limited to a specific territory. The fact that it is about the territory of a specific state and not e.g. provinces or cities. The business name registration in Poland takes place in the Patent Office in Warsaw.
The procedure lasts about 6 months.
- Trademark fee registration in class 1 – 113 EUR (online registration fee is 100 EUR)
- Fee for each subsequent class – 30 EUR.
- 10-year protection fee for each class – 100 EUR.
- Fee for publishing information about granted protection law – 23 EUR.
TYMBARK trademark has been registered for protection in classes 30 and 32. Official fees that should be paid today are 366 EUR (143 EUR for registration, 200 EUR for 10-year protection and 23 EUR for publication).
Business name registration in the European Union
If your clients are from foreign country you should consider the business name registration for the entire European Union. Formally, the registration is made to EUIPO (European Union Office for Intellectual Property) in Alicante, Spain.
The whole procedure takes about 6 months.
The following fees include registration and 10-year protection.
a) Business name registration and protection:
- EU trademark registration fee in class 1 – 1,000 EUR
- Registration fee (online registration) in class 1 – 850 EUR
- Fee for 2 class – 50 EUR
- Fee for each subsequent indicated class – 150 EUR
The Polish company VIFON has registered that trademark for one of its chinese soups.
The trademark received protection in two classes, so the official costs (for online registration) amounted to 900 EUR.
Business name registration for a selected group of countries
If you have a registered company name as a trademark in Poland or the European Union, you can extend the protection to a selected countries in the world. There are about 100 countries in this procedure, excluding many South American. This procedure can be attractive for producers who export their goods to distant markets.
The application for protection should be submitted to WIPO (Intellectual Property Organisation).
a) Business name registration and protection:
- Basic fee for registration and protection for up to three classes:
- if the trademark is not presented in colours – 653 CHF *Swiss francs
- if the trademark is presented in colours – 903 CHF
- Fee for each class above 3 – 100 CHF
- Fee for each indicated agreement member’s state – 100 CHF
- some countries have set their own individual fees
This trademark was registered in Poland in four classes, and later was extended to eight countries (including China). International registration fees amounted to 1,803 CHF (903 CHF basic fee, 100 CHF for 4 class and 800 CHF for indicated countries).
Business name registration with the help of a patent attorney
I can help you with trademark registration in the appropriate Patent Office. Both in Poland and abroad. As a patent attorney I specialise with brand protection. Normally I work in a family Patent & Trademark Agency. We have a lot of experience.
For 32 years we have registered for our clients over 3500 trademarks.
If you too would like to use my services just write me or call. Distance is not a problem. I work completely on-line. Thanks to that I cooperate not only with polish but also with the companies from all over the world.
Sometimes business name registration can be impossible.
If you want, I can help you with all formalities.
Is it better to register the company name or logo?
If you are planning to register the trademark, you are probably wondering whether it is better to register the company name or logo. My clients almost always ask me that question. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.
This is due to the fact that both the business name registration of the word trademark (name) and figurative word trademark (logo) has its pros and cons. In other words, each of these protection forms works better in different circumstances. You can never be sure if a competitor want to impersonate our trademark or logo.
For that reason, it is best to protect the brand in both forms. However, it means that you need to make two registrations and pay double official fees. Alternatively, you can independently assess which trademark variation better suits your needs.
Below I have listed the pros and cons.
By trademark business name registration, the phonetic aspect is protected. It means that it is not matter whether the trademark will be written with capital or small letters. One can say that it is protected that what can be heard in radio advertising.
Advantages of the business name registration:
- You get an official statement that your company’s name is not a descriptive term. Entrepreneurs often make mistakes by choosing names that they cannot monopolize. For example, if you run a bike shop under the domain bikes.pl, you can not prohibit the competitor to act under the domain bikes.com. Sometimes the descriptiveness of the sign is not obvious. In such cases, the Patent Office’s decision prejudices the matter.
- Strong legal protection of the brand. If a competitor uses the name that is written differently, but sounds similar to Yours – they will violate the law. It does not matter if they use a different logo. We compare only the phonetic ascpect.
- Word trademark registration automatically protects online domain. If a competitor uses the domain containing Your company name, you can take it back from them. You gain advantage that you do not have to preemptively buy over a dozen domains containing your trademark.
- You can block Google AdWords ads using your trademark. This is done by a special form, where is sent the trademark registration number.
- The word trademark business name registration provides protection mainly on the phonetic aspect. However, it may turn out, that the competitor gets closer graphically to your logo but uses for that a different word (example on the picture).
- In such circumstances, the company name registration will not help you in the fight against the infringer.
- It is more difficult to register the company name than to obtain protection for the company logo. If the Patent Office finds e.g. that your trademark is descriptive – it will refuse you registration. Information about this will be in the registry and everyone will be able to read it, also Your competitors. It may be a signal to them that choosing the same name will not violate the law.
By the figurative trademark registration, the company logo is protected. In other words, the word expressed in fanciful graphics is protected. Whether the competitor with their trademark has violated your rights is assessed as a whole. Both trademarks are compared graphically, phonetically and semantically. Finally, one should answer the question whether the potential consumer seeing a competitor’s trademark can be mislead or not.
Advantages of the company logo registration:
- The company logo is always easier to register than the name. It results from the fact that if the logo has a descriptive term, then the graphics makes the designation meaningful. Provided that it is not a plain black inscription on a white background.
- If the figurative trademark contains a none-descriptive word – the phonetic aspect is also protected.
- The figurative word trademark protects only the logo attached to the application. If you have several color options, you should report each one separately.
- If the trademark is rebranded after a few years, the old one will not protect the new mark. Moreover, after 5 years of not using the trademark, competitors may expire your protection.
- By the company logo registration, sometimes it is not sure if the verbal aspect is also protected. And this can be the defense line of your competitors when you demand from them the change of the name.
What do you gain by business name and logo registration?
There are rules that ensure a minimum level of protection for your brand.
You can refer to them in the most obvious cases of unfair competition. Experience shows that you will often deal with ‚shades of gray’. A competitor may use a similar name but in a different area. Possibly, he will offer similar kinds of goods.
In such cases, regulations that guarantee an increased level of brand protection will be a lifeline. In order to use them, it is necessary to register the company name. Below are presented the most important benefits of such registration.
– 1 –
You prevent the theft of the brand name
Why would someone want to steal your brand?
Because it is the most valuable asset of your company. Not cars, computers or real estate. Please note that if you have invested in the promotion and the best customer service for years, Your brand inspires trust and attracts customers.
It is said that a satisfied customer recommends you to 10 people, while dissatisfied discourages 100.
I noticed that disputes about the company brand are usually made with a former partner or a key employee when they ‚goes away’. I also know the case when a local competitor tried to take over the recognizable brand of the hotel facility.
And it is always done in the same way.
Knowing that a given entrepreneur does not protect their brand in the Patent Office, their competitor makes an application. If such registration is successful, they receive an official confirmation that only they can use that name.
And this is very dangerous situation for you.
A competitor may sue you after requesting the protection of the goods marked with a disputed mark. If the court agrees, you will not be able to use your name until the end of the trial. And this can mean problems with financial liquidity.
In the meantime, it is relatively easy to defend against that. It is enough to be the first to register business name and logo. After passing the entire procedure, the Patent Office will issue you with a protection certificate. It will include information:
- what mark has been registered (name or logo);
- what is it determining;
- on what territory is it protected;
- from what date is the 10-year protection counted, and
- that You own the rights.
With a protection certificate, you are able to pacify any attempt to take over your brand. Also, remember that there are companies which business model is based on taking over others brands for blackmail. Trademark trolls in the 90s were a huge problem in the United States.
– 2 –
It is much easier to fight against offenders
Protecting the company brand without the registered trademark is more complicated. First of all, you have to prove before the court that you are entitled to these rights. Therefore, you should submit a number of proofs indicating:
- what brand do you use;
- to indicate what kinds of goods or services;
- on what territory, and
- from what date.
The effect of these measures may be that you actually prove your rights to the brand, but only to certain goods. What is more, the court may consider that the scope protection covers only your city. Thus, the competitor actions from across Poland were legal because there was no risk of misleading consumers.
See how Your situation will diametrically change when you have a registered trademark. It is easy to prove your rights. It is limited to the submission of the protection certificate. The scope protection covers the whole of Poland and all goods or services indicated in the registration. And they may include what you plan to offer only in a few years.
Thanks to the business name registration, the court will not challenge the rights you are entitled to. The dispute itself will be limited to answering the question whether your competitor’s actions have violated your rights or not.
– 3 –
The possibility of placing the ® symbol next to the company logo
Many people do not know what the R symbol in a circle means. People incorrectly associate it with the information that the product is original or that it is of high quality. In fact, the characteristic R is an abbreviation of the word ‘registered’ and means that the trademark has been registered in the Patent Office.
Entrepreneurs display this symbol to warn competitors that they benefit from the increased legal protection of their brand.
In practice, this symbol is also positively associated by customers. It works so well that some companies use it illegally, just to increase sales of their goods. Meanwhile, such action is an act of unfair competition which carries a fine.
Anyway, quite recently I found out about the positive effect of the ® symbol.
Being in the store, I had to buy the soy sauce. I found two types of it but I did not associate any brand. However, I noticed that there is the R symbol on one of them. I thought that since the manufacturer takes care of the brand legal protection, they certainly care about the quality of their products. And in fact I checked later that this brand has great reviews on the internet.
The magic symbol R works.
– 4 –
Numerous possibilities to make money thanks to the brand
By the business name registration, you can feel the owner of your brand.
You can make money thanks to the brand in the classic way, that is, by offering goods or services. Nevertheless, an interesting method, is licensing the trademark. If you register the trademark for yourself as a natural person, you can grant a license to use it, e.g. for a LTD… That creates opportunities for tax optimization.
Sometimes, the brand is as strong that some people willingly pay you to use it. This is clearly seen on the example of music bands. Musicians who register the band name later earn by granting a license for the production of clothing, gadgets and toys with their logo.
If you run e.g. a restaurant, you can create a franchise network. In this case, the franchisee will pay you for the opportunity to use Your brand. It is also favourable situation for them because they are sure that they do not violate the law.
You can also act in a truly American style. For years, you will develop your business to sell it to an investor at some point. If you want, you can sell the trademark itself.
– 5 –
The trademark helps in the event of the bankruptcy
Companies go bankrupt for various reasons.
They are connected by the fact that at some point they are unable to pay their obligations. In this case, the liquidator begins to manage the company’s assets. They have to monetize it to satisfy the creditors. They sell real estate, cars and machines. Regardless, the trademark itself may be sold.
The trademark value can be accurately estimated.
When it comes to about high turnover, its price may amount to several hundred thousand or even several million EUR. This can be an interesting alternative for potential buyers. They can either spend money on promotion of a new brand from scratch or buy one that already has an established position on the market.
This is exactly what happened with the ATLANTIC trademark.
As a result of the war in the Ukraine the company fell into financial difficulties. Though, the brand itself was still positively associated by consumers. Finally, the bailiff sold this trademark for almost 250 000 EUR. Therefore, the company’s liabilities decreased for this amount. The buyer, thus obtained the right to a well-recognized brand.
There is an interesting situation when a natural person licenses their trademark to a company. If the company has financial problems, the liquidator cannot take over the trademark rights. Formally, the company is not its owner.
Such a tactic is a way to reduce business risk.
- Jak chronić nazwę firmy? 5 mitów, które mogą zniszczyć Twoją firmę!
- Kradzież nazwy firmy poprzez rejestrację w Urzędzie Patentowym
- Jak zgłosić naruszenie prawa na Allegro? Usuń ofertę konkurenta!
- Czy można zarejestrować znak towarowy na osobę fizyczną?
- Program Współpraca w Ochronie Praw a podróbki na Allegro
- Czy wystarczy zastrzec znak towarowy, aby przejąć domenę?
- Opisowa nazwa firmy. Najczęstszy powód odmowy rejestracji
- Licencja na wykorzystanie postaci z bajek. Gdzie szukać kontaktu?
What provides better protection ®️ – registering a name or a logo?
Both registering a name and a logo have their 🟢 pros and 🔴 cons. It cannot be said that one is decidedly better. Furthermore, they complement each other fantastically. To fully protect your brand, make two separate applications.
In the longer term, name protection is more practical. It will provide you with:
✅ Absolute certainty that you are protecting only the name. A competitor cannot accuse you of using a descriptive term. If that were the case, the Patent Office would not grant you protection. Before making such an application, do a 👉 full analysis of your brand.
✅ Protection of the internet domain in any variation. A competitor will infringe on your rights if their domain is even partially similar. This means you don’t have to buy 20 or 30 domains.
✅ Easy removal of infringing offers from sales platforms. Since you are protecting only the name, a competitor cannot defend themselves by using a different logo.
How to check if my name can be registered with the Patent Office?
A proper legal analysis of a brand is extremely important for two reasons:
1️⃣ If the Patent Office refuses to grant you protection, you will lose the fees you paid for the application. These can amount up to 1000 EUR!
2️⃣ By choosing a name similar to what your competition is protecting, you may be sued by them.
Entrepreneurs often only do a quick Google search. They forget to verify the 👉 trademark search engines. Besides, they do it as if they were looking for a free internet domain, i.e. for identity. However, it turns out that trademarks differing by one or two letters can still cause collision.
Read the article about 🔴6 mistakes in legal brand analysis.