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Trademarks and trade names

1. Protection of trademarks and trade names

The trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies the products or services of a company and differentiates them from those of its competitors in the market, as long as it is represented in such a way that the clear and precise object of the protection granted to its proprietor can be defined.

All signs, especially words, including the names of individuals, drawings, letters, figures, colors, the shape of a product or its packaging, or sounds, shall be registered as a trademark.

The trade name identifies a company in the course of trade and distinguishes it from other companies that may develop identical or similar activities in the market.

The right over a trademark is acquired through its registration with the appropriate organization and grants its owner an exclusive right, as well as the possibility to prevent third parties from using identical or similar trademarks that may cause confusion in the market or that may seek unfair advantage.

For this reason, it is essential to grant proper protection to trademarks since it is one of the largest intangible assets of companies.

Our firm offers comprehensive advice for the defense and protection of trademarks. We have a team of professionals that will help you protect your industrial property rights. Among the services we offer, we may highlight the following ones:

  • Conduct searches in order to determine the viability of a trademark or to know the existence of third party’s applications or registrations.
  • Filing Spanish, European Union, international and national trademarks in any country around the world.
  • Surveillance of trademarks and distinguishing signs, concerning new Spanish trademark or distinguishing sign applications, new international trademark applications with effects in Spain and new European Union trademark applications, as well as worldwide.
  • Filing oppositions, appeals and invalidation and revocation actions against trademark applications or registrations that may violate the interests of our clients.
  • Defense of our clients’ trademark applications against oppositions, appeals and invalidation or revocation actions filed by third parties.
  • Defense against official actions, as a result of objections issued by the Trademark Office.
  • Transfers, mergers and change of owner’s name
  • Legal defense against third parties

2. Protection of marks abroad


The registration of a European Union trademark, grants its holder protection in the following countries:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic Czech, Romania, United Kingdom and Sweden.

The body in charge of anything related to the application and registration of trademarks of the European Union is the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).

The European Union trademark is registered for 10 years counting from the date of application, renewable indefinitely for further periods of 10 years.

The European Union trademark is considered as used, if it has been used in at least one of the member states of the European Union.

The owner of a European trademark obtains the exclusive right over the registered trademark. This legitimates the registrant to prevent third parties from registering or using a trademark capable of causing confusion in any country of the European Union.


The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks is governed by the Madrid Agreement adopted in 1891, and the Protocol relating to that Agreement, adopted in 1989. This system allows a trademark to be protected in a large number of countries through an international registration that takes effect in each of the designated Contracting Parties.