Registration of trademark in Belarus
WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?
Trademarks are used to distinguish the goods and services of one manufacturer from those of another manufacturer.
A trademark is a designation that distinguishes goods, works, or services from similar ones. In other words, a trademark is a special sign that is inherent to the type of goods of only one manufacturer. It is unique, must not be repeated, and the right to use it belongs only to the party which registered such a right.
The main role of a trademark is to allow the consumer to identify the product. An example of a trademark is the image of the KFC restaurant chain founder that is put on packaging and shop fronts. A trademark is similar in many ways to a logo, but the right to a logo is not protected, whereas a trademark is subject to registration and subsequent protection.
A service mark is a designation meant to help identify the services of a specific manufacturer. A trademark and a service mark are combined by law into one group.
There are several types of trademarks. Thus they can consist of words, sentences, and display color combinations. Trademarks can also be represented as images of animals, natural phenomena, or any objects. Numbers can be used in a trademark as well. A trademark can also include volumetric symbols that are represented in three dimensions.
Once a trademark is developed it should be registered, because after registration the legal protection of images starts to take effect.
APPLICATION FOR TRADEMARK REGISTRATION IN BELARUS
A trademark is an object of intellectual property, so the right to it must be registered. After registration, it is securely protected around the world.
In order to register a trademark in Belarus, you must submit an application to the authorized body. The law allows for both legal entities and individuals to submit an application. You can act through a patent attorney.
Patent attorneys are persons who represent other persons for the protection of industrial property rights. Patent attorneys must pass the necessary certification, after which their information is entered into a special register.
Before submitting an application, you should prepare thoroughly: develop a unique designation and collect the complete set of documents. The designation must be new, i.e. it must not have been registered before. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a market research of similar products to make sure your trademark has not been registered earlier. In this case, the legislator applies the rule of “confusing similarity”. This means that the trademark must be distinguishable and not be confused with existing ones.
The number of applications for registration must be equivalent to the number of designations – one application cannot contain a request to register several trademarks.
In the application, you must fill in the boxes that contain questions about the applicant’s details (name, residential address), the applied for trademark, and the list of goods grouped in accordance with the International classification of goods and services for the registration of a trademark.
You must pay a fee before submitting your application. Together with the application, you must provide a set of images of the applied for designation.
If an application is filed for a collective trademark, the collective trademark regulation should be attached as well.
Sometimes documents are composed in a foreign language. In this case, you must have the documents translated and apply to a notary. The notary will certify the authenticity of the translator’s signature. Thus, the application and other documents must be submitted in Russian or Belarusian.
INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES
The International classification of goods and services was developed in accordance with the Nice agreement of 15 June 1957. This publication contains the names of goods and services grouped by class.
It includes products and services in the alphabetical order. Each class is followed by an explanation. There are 45 classes in total. Before registering a trademark, you must check the classifier to see if this particular designation can be used as a trademark.
There is a Russian-language version of the classifier. It was last changed in 2020. The classifier is in the public domain. Examples of services contained in the classifier include:
– «spiritual field counsel»;
– «legal services»;
– «dog walking services».
As you can see, the classifier contains services that are used in all spheres of public life.
Products included in the classifier, among other things, include:
– «perfume» (class «chemical»);
– «posters, banners» (class «paper, cardboard»);
– «kites» (class «games, toys»).
THE TRADEMARK REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The trademark registration system consists of several stages.
After receiving the application, the patent authority conducts a preliminary examination and an examination of the claimed designation, and then makes a decision on the registration of the designation. Preliminary examination is carried out within two months from the date of filing the application. The registration period is one month. Registration is preceded by receiving a check for payment of the fee.
Registration is a process during which information about the registration of a trademark and the right-holder are entered into a special register.
Within a month, the applicant is issued a certificate of trademark registration.
MADRID TRADEMARK REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The Madrid trademark registration system is a worldwide trademark registration system that is convenient and has a low operating budget.
Filing one application and paying one set of fees entitles you to protection in 122 countries. At the same time, there is a single centralized system. It allows you to make changes to the global amount of trademarks, extend their validity period and expand their validity area.
THE TIME PERIOD OF TRADEMARK REGISTRATION
The law sets a period of one month for trademark registration. Registration of designations is valid for ten years. This period can be extended. It is done on the basis of the right-holder’s application. Within six months after the expiration date, you can register the designation to another individual or legal entity. Then the set of trademark rights will pass onto another person.
When re-registering, you must comply with all the same requirements established by law for primary registration – submit an application, pay a fee, etc.
Patent fee is the amount of money established by law. The applicant must transfer the patent fee to the current account of the registering authority before filing the documents. Without a receipt confirming the payment, registration will be refused.
To date, the fee for filing an application is set at 3 basic units for 3 designations, and for each subsequent one over 3, one must pay an additional fee – 0.2 basic units. Payment details for the fee can be found on the official website of the registering authority.
The fee for registering a trademark in the Register and issuing a certificate is currently 19 basic units. To register a collective trademark, you must pay 57 basic units.
REFUSAL TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK
It is necessary for the designation to meet all the requirements of the law, otherwise the authority has the right to refuse registration.
If the trademark does not differ from any other, is an identification that is generally known, includes non-distinctive terms and symbols, gives false representations about the product, work or service, the applicant will be denied registration.
It is also prohibited to register designations exclusively in the form of coats of arms, flags, emblems and other state symbols.
If the designation contradicts the norms of morality, humanity, or offends the feelings of a person or certain groups of people, the registration authority will make a decision to refuse registration. For example, a trademark containing obscenities and insults will not be registered.