CREATING NEW TRADEMARKS - MORE THAN JUST PLAYING WITH WORDS

Creating new trademarks implies investing both time and money in establishing lasting values.

Most people are not aware that the price can double or even triple if thorough preliminary investigations are not performed.

The process should be carefully administered, in order to avoid pitfalls and to prevent waste of valuable time and means.

Creating new trademarks is much more than just “thinking of a smart word”.

In short, the process can be divided into 6 steps:

1. Define the product or service for which the trademark is to be used

2. Define your competitors

3. Brainstorm - create new trademarks

4. Check whether the chosen trademark is protectable

5. Check if the trademark infringes older/other rights

6. Protect the trademark.

Unfortunately, many people skip points 4 and 5 during such a process, and because of this, it might turn out at a later point in time that the process has been wasted and that the time and money invested is of no use.

Especially skipping point 5 – not making preliminary research to prevent infringement of older rights, can turn out to be quite expensive and in the end result in the trademark not being usable. In worst case scenario, you may risk a lawsuit for having infringed other people's  rights.

To minimize the risk of future conflicts and to save money and time during the brainstorming process, we find it crucial that the question and assessment process is done at an early stage.

At Larsen & Birkeholm A/S, our consultants have vast experience in advising companies in connection with this process. If your company is considering investing in new trademarks, you are welcome to contact us for a custom-made proposal for guidance throughout the process.

At skabe nye varemærker- mere end en leg med ord!

At skabe nye varemærker indebærer at investere både tid og penge i at etablere vedvarende værdier. Det som mange ikke er klar over er, at prisen kan fordoble sig, eller endda tredoble sig, hvis man ikke udfører grundige forundersøgelser.

Processen bør administreres grundigt for at undgå faldgruber og for at undgå at indsatsen går til spilde. At skabe nye varemærker er mere end ”tænk på et smart og fedt ord”.

 Kort fortalt kan processen skitseres i 6 punkter:

1. Definere produktet som varemærket skal bruges på

2. Definere konkurrenter

3. Brainstorming - Skabe nye varemærker

4. Undersøge om valgte varemærke kan beskyttes.

5. Undersøge om det valgte mærke krænker ældre/andres rettigheder

6. Beskytte varemærket

I en sådan proces er der mange der uheldigvis springer punkt 4 og 5 over, og det kan så på et senere tidspunkt vise sig at processen i bund og grund har været spildt og at tid og penge man har investeret er til ingen nytte.

Specielt punkt 5 - ikke at foretage grundige forundersøgelser, for at sikre sig at varemærket ikke krænker ældre rettigheder, kan vise sig at være dyrt, og kan i sidste ende resultere i at man ikke kan bruge varemærket og at man i værste fald risikerer en retssag for at have krænket andres rettigheder.

Vi plejer at sige, at for at minimere risikoen for en fremtidig konflikt og spare penge og tid allerede i brainstormingsprocessen, er det vigtig at spørgsmålene og vurderingerne gøres tidligt i processen. Jo tidligere jo bedre.

Hos Larsen & Birkeholm A/S har vores rådgivere lang erfaring i at rådgive virksomheder i forbindelse med denne proces. Er din virksomhed i færd med at udtænke nye varemærker, så kontakt os og vi kan skræddersy et oplæg og guide jer gennem processen.

Hvornår er konkurrenter for inspirerede?

Hvis din virksomhed har patent-, brugsmodel-, design- eller varemærkebeskyttelse på nogle af jeres produkter, kan det ofte være svært at vurdere, hvornår konkurrenterne er blevet for inspirerede.

Det vil ofte være jeres sælgere, marketingafdeling eller teknikere, der bliver opmærksomme på nye produkter hos konkurrenterne, eksempelvis på messer. Det er imidlertid ikke så ofte, at de er oplyste om detaljerne omkring hvilke produkter egen virksomhed har beskyttelse på, da deres fokus ligger et andet sted. De ved sandsynligvis heller ikke, hvad der skal til for at sikre beviserne for en konkurrents eventuelle krænkelse.

Larsen & Birkeholm A/S tilbyder hjælp til dette. F.eks. i form af akut udrykning til messer for at sikre beviser, planlagt overvågning af konkurrenter eller produkter på udvalgte messer, oplæring af sælgere, analyse af konkurrenters produkter for krænkelse m.m.

Kontakt os gerne for mere information.

Design strategy in Europe and Denmark

There are several ways to apply for design registration in Europe. A brief overview will hopefully make the choice easier for the applicant.

1. Danish design registration

One or more designs can be searched in one application. No novelty examination. Provides only protection in Denmark. Within 6 months of filing, other countries may be applied with effect from the date of filing in Denmark.

2. EU design registration

The application may include one or more designs and the registration includes 27 European countries. No novelty examination. The advantage of a EU design registration is that it's a low-cost way to protect your design, but the disadvantage is if the design is terminated - for example by judgment - in one country, your design registration in all other countries will also expire according to the principle: "All eggs in a basket".

Another advantage is that the application is only handled by an authority, the EU authorities (EUIPO), who decides whether the design can be registered in all EU countries.

3. International Design Registration - WIPO System

An international Design Registration includes 64 countries, most European countries, US, Japan and several African countries. There are special rules for the United States. In particular, you may only apply for one design in each application, as well as formulation of design requirements and shading images. In USA a novelty search is performed, and a registration last for 15 years.

In Japan, you may apply for one design per application, the design may not include shading and the design must include views from all 6 pages according to the principle: "All eyes on the dice must be depicted". In Japan a registration last 20 years.

The advantage of an International Design Registration is a single application is filed for all designated (selected) countries and thus a significant economic advantage during filing. After the application has been submitted, each application is examined individually by the authorities of the different countries.

4. National registrations in countries not covered by EU or WIPO system

In countries not covered by the EU or WIPO system, national applications must be applied in the current countries. Here too, applications are handled by the authorities of the different countries.

Ask us for advice on the most appropriate strategy, depending on in which European countries you wish to have your design protected.

designregistrering

Der er flere måder at søge designregistrering på, hver har sit geografiske område og sine særlige spilleregler.

En kort oversigt vil forhåbentlig gøre valget lettere for ansøgeren.

1.     Dansk designregistrering

Et eller flere designs kan søges i én ansøgning. Ingen nyhedsprøvning. Giver kun beskyttelse i Danmark. Der kan inden 6 måneder efter indlevering søges i andre lande med gyldighed fra indleveringstidspunktet i Danmark.

2.     EU designregistrering

Ansøgningen kan omfatte et eller flere designs og registreringen omfatter 27 europæiske lande. Ingen nyhedsprøvning.

Det er en billig måde at beskytte design på, men ulempen er, hvis designet ophæves – f.eks. ved dom – i et land, bortfalder alle de øvrige registreringer ligeledes efter princippet: ”Alle æg i en kurv”.

En anden fordel er at ansøgningen kun behandles af en instans, nemlig EU myndighederne (EUIPO) som afgør om designet kan registreres i alle EU lande.

3.     International designregistrering - WIPO systemet

Denne omfatter 64 lande, nemlig de fleste europæiske lande, USA, Japan og flere afrikanske lande, men ingen asiatiske eller sydamerikanske lande.

Der gælder særlige regler for USA, navnlig kan der kun søges om ét design i hver ansøgning, endvidere formulering af designkrav og afbildninger med skyggelægning. Endvidere nyhedsprøvning. Løbetid er 15 år.

I Japan ligeledes kun ét design pr. ansøgning, afbildning uden skyggelægning og afbildninger set fra alle 6 sider efter princippet: ”Alle øjne på terningen skal afbildes”. Løbetid 20 år.

Formålet er en samlet ansøgningsprocedure for samtlige designerede (valgte) lande og dermed en betydelig økonomisk fordel for ansøgningen. Efter at ansøgningen er indleveret, behandles de individuelt hos de forskellige landes myndigheder.

4.   Nationale registreringer i andre lande

I de lande der ikke omfattes af EU- eller WIPO systemet, skal der ansøges nationalt i de aktuelle lande. Også her behandles ansøgningerne hos de forskellige landes myndigheder.


Konklusion
Der er således flere valgmuligheder, som hver har sine fordele og ulemper. Man kan imidlertid begynde i et af de nævnte registreringssystemer og så inden 6 måneder fortsætte i et eller flere af de øvrige.

Spørg os gerne til råds om det mest hensigtsmæssige valg, som er afhængigt af hvilke lande der er behov for beskyttelse i.

NY MEDARBEJDER

Med stor glæde kan vi informere om at Larsen & Birkeholm A/S fra
1. januar 2018 har styrket sit team omkring varemærker og designs ved ansættelsen af Morten Karlstrøm.

Morten har en baggrund indenfor Kommunikation, Varemærkeret og Designret og har i 13 år arbejdet med rådgivning omkring beskyttelse af varemærker og designs for både små og store kunder fra EU, Danmark og Norge.

Morten er European Trademark Attorney samt European Design Attorney og vi ser frem til at præsentere Morten for vores nuværende og kommende kunder til hjælp med rådgivning på dette område.
Mere om Morten her.

Utility Models in Denmark

In Denmark it is possible to file a Utility Model. An object of a Utility Model is referred to as a “creation” corresponding to an “invention” of a patent application.

The creation of a Utility Model must be new (global novelty), differ distinctly from prior art and be industrially applicable. Basically, a Utility Model must fulfill the same conditions as an invention of a patent application, although an invention must “differ essentially” from prior art which is considered to be a more significant difference. However, it must be possible to argue that some advantage is obtained by the creation of the Utility Model.

The Utility Model provides an exclusive right for up to 10 years, if renewal fees are paid respectively 3 and 6 years after filing.

Utility models can be registered for products, apparatuses and applications, it cannot be registered for methods. The applicant may request an examination to establish whether the creation is new and differs distinctly from the prior art. If an examination is not requested, the utility model will be registered without examination.

If the Utility Model is a first application, the applicant may choose to proceed with the utility model application internationally, either as an international application (PCT), European application (EP), or filing in another country with priority from the Danish Utility Model application. Such applications must be filed within 12 months of the date of filing the Danish Utility Model application.

See laws relating to Utility Models: http://www.dkpto.org/ip-law--policy/law.aspx

Delivery

If the utility model application meets the requirements of the Consolidate Utility Model Act, the utility model application will be registered within 2-3 months.

If the utility model application is examined for novelty and inventive step, the applicant will receive the first evaluation within 3 to 4 months from the date of request.

Request for examination

Any party may request examination of an Utility Model throughout the life time of the Utility Model.

This means that although the applicant may have decided to have the Utility Model application examined upon filing, a third-party may file a request for examination after the application is registered and e.g. introduce new documents in the procedure.

If a third-party requests examination, the third party pays the examination fee. The applicant will be informed by the Danish Patent Office that a request for examination has been filed, and the applicant may then file comments to the arguments of the request. There is no official fee involved at the applicant’s end, our fee relating to such a response normally amounts to between 1200 and 3500 Euro depending on the complexity of the response.

Examination or not?

Whether a Utility Model is examined or not, is of importance if the owner decides to instigate court actions in Denmark based on the Utility Model. If the owner wishes to enforce a Utility Model, it must be examined. However, should the owner need to have the Utility Model examined after registration, the owner may file a request for examination and pay the examination fee.

Although a creation has been searched and examined in another country, examination of a Danish Utility Model will include a search in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian documents and this might add new documents to a novelty search.

Also, if it is decided to amend the claims as a consequence of an examination procedure, the possibilities for formulating amended claims are less restricted if it is done before registration i.e. in connection with the filing. After registration you may not extend the scope of the claims.

Fees

The basic fee for a utility model application is DKK 2000.

The fee for examination before or after registration is DKK 4000.

December 2017 our fee for filing a Utility Model, no matter whether you wish to have the Utility Model examined or not, is 5000 DKK (approximately 680 Euro).

The utility model registration is effective until 3 years have elapsed from the date of filing, after this date renewal fees must be paid.

If an application is filed on 10th January 2018, a first renewal fee of 2000 DKK (approximately 270 Euro) is to be paid when 3 years have elapsed, i.e. the due date being 31-1-2021, and a second renewal fee of 3000 DKK (approximately 405 Euro) is to be paid after 6 years, i.e. the due date being 31-1-2024. The renewal fee falls due on the last day of the month in which the fee period begins. Renewal fees may not be paid earlier than 3 months before the due date.

Price list from the DKPTO: https://www.dkpto.dk/media/1045/prisliste-rettigheder.pdf

(The price list of the DKPTO includes information about all fees related to utility models)

Language

The complete specification and claims must be translated into Danish before registration.

The application may be filed in another language, and then the applicant will have approximately 1 month to produce and file a Danish translation of the full text of the Utility Model.

It is possible to request to have the examination procedure conducted in English. The applicant may therefore choose to file a foreign language text first and then e.g. file an English translation of the text and request examination in English. In this way, filing of the translation into Danish may be postponed until the application has been accepted.