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How do you get a trademark registration in Austria?
To realize trademark registration in Austria, most turn to the ÖPA, the Österreichisches Patentamt. This agency protects technical innovations, designs and trademarks against unauthorized use. Trademark registration in Austria by the ÖPA is valid for ten years. Although you do not have to use your trademark immediately after trademark registration in Austria, after a period of five years you run the risk of cancellation due to inactivity. The use of this mark within Austria must be of commercial scope at that time to prevent this.
As an entrepreneur, it is very important to you that you can protect your ideas. Once you have worked this out, however, you cannot just enter the Austrian market with it. You must have a registration that prevents your brand or innovation from being copied by others. Registration and protection in one.
Trademark registration in Austria by ÖPA
Trademark registration in Austria can be almost anything: signs, words, personal names, colors, shapes, logos and more. You use your brand to give your company, product or service more brand awareness and a stronger distinctive character. If you decide to submit an application for trademark registration in Austria to ÖPA, you may be assisted by a trademark office, but that is not a requirement.
- The ÖPA procedure can be divided into three stages:
Formal assessment: the submission of images, lists of goods and / or services, etc. If something is missing in the documents you have submitted, you will be informed and you will be given the time to complete the documents.
- Similarity Investigation Notice: Owners of older, identical, or trademarks displaying a confusing resemblance to yours may take action against your trademark registration in Austria.
- Research into the legitimacy of existence: research is conducted into whether your trademark can be protected and is distinctive enough. If there are any obstacles in this area, you will be informed and you can anticipate them.
Fast Track handling by ÖPA
When you are in a hurry with your trademark registration in Austria for any reason, then you can request the Fast Track Application. This option is mainly used by startups, which still need the time to further develop an idea that is in its infancy. Before submitting such an application, you must have already carried out a similarity search yourself. The ÖPA does not do this for you in the Fast Track procedure. The procedure was developed in collaboration with EUIPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
How do you register your brand: at word level, image level or combined level?
When you decide to register a trademark in Austria, you can do this at image level, at word level or at combined level. A combined trademark registration in Austria concerns a trademark with both verbal and figurative elements and gives you protection for exactly this combination. This does not detract from the fact that you can still object to the use of one of these elements separately by a third party. If you want extra certainty in this area, it is best to have both elements registered separately.
The PRIO handling for patent applications
In addition to trademark registration in Austria, you have also come to the right place at ÖPA for patent applications. Patent applications do not concern a brand, but an innovation. You can request the PRIO processing to register your invention, even before it is completely completed. You record the date of birth of your invention for a period of one year, as it were. The PRIO application can be converted into a regular patent application after that period, but this is not mandatory.
Realize trademark registration in Austria in other ways than via ÖPA
If you want to register a trademark in Austria, you are not only dependent on ÖPA. Via the ÖPA you realize trademark registration in Austria only, that is to say on a national level. However, Austria also falls within the European Union, so you can also apply for a trademark registration at this level. You will then have to deal with the EUIPO. If your application is approved, your trademark is protected throughout the European Union. At the moment, after the withdrawal of Great Britain, this concerns 27 countries. So this is not the same as all of Europe.
A third way to achieve trademark registration in Austria is through WIPO. This procedure uses the Madrid Protocol, to which not only the countries of the European Union, but also the United States, Russia, Australia, China and Japan have joined. The Madrid Protocol makes it possible for you as a trademark holder to register it in several countries. Only one application is required for this. Please note: unlike ÖPA and EUIPO, the WIPO only issues trademark registration and no protection. Nor does it check whether an identical or very similar trademark has already been registered.