Question: What are the steps to follow when registering a brand in Romania and what benefits do I have, as an owner of the trademark?
Answer: Through the registration of a brand, your company acquires exclusive rights to use the trademark, forbidding the competing companies to merchandize identical or similar products or to carry out services under the same brand or under a similar brand with the purpose of creating confusion for the consumers.
The brand is a susceptible sign of graphic representation, which allows the consumer to differentiate between the identical or similar products, and which induces in his mind the fact that these identical or similar products do not come from the same company.
The registration of a brand in Romania is not a very simple thing, taking into consideration the fact that certain conditions must be complied with: the verbal elements which compose the brand must be easy to pronounce and apprehend, the brand must be easy to represent, visually attractive and to differ from the brands of the identical or similar brands.
The brands can be registered in Romania in the following forms:
• The verbal brand - a denomination, a slogan, written with standard characters;
• The figurative brand - a graphic element which does not contain letters or numbers;
• The combined brand - a written denomination with a special graphics and /or in colors or a denomination accompanied by a graphic element;
• The tridimensional brand - the brand made up of the form of the product or of the package or any other tridimensional specific sign which allows the identification of a product or service.
The brands can be protected:
• on national level - your company will acquire protection over the right over the brand only on the territory of the country in which the registration is made; the petition for brand registration is submitted to the State Office for Inventions and Brands (SOIB) for the registration of the brand in Romania or at the specialized Offices in other countries in which your company carries out its activity;
• on community level - the right over the brand is protected in all the countries members of the European Union; the petition for brand registration is submitted to the Office for Harmonization of Internal Market (OHIM/OAPI);
• on international level - the right over the brand is protected in the countries mentioned in the registration petition according to the Agreement or Protocol in Madrid; the brand registration petition is submitted at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO/OMPI).
In order to obtain trademarks in Romania and to fully benefit from the rights granted by this registration, the fulfillment of the following steps is needed:
• The verification of the denomination and/or of the graphic element in the structure of the brand so no problems within the brand registration procedure might exist;
• The brand registration Romania;
• The protection of the industrial property right over the brand by: initiating oppositions upon the registration by third parties of identical or similar brands for the same products or for similar products; initiating actions in unfair competition cases, criminal complaints for the committing of the copyright imitation infringement;
• The renewal of the brand.
No matter the modality of brand registration, on national, community or international level, the brand is protected from the submitting date of the registration petition, except for the case in which a priority is invoked (priority is determined by a previous stock in another country or the priority for exhibition).
Please do not let any legal matters stand in the way of opening or expanding your business. Our lawyers in Bucharest are here to help and make the incorporation process of a branch hassle-free. Call us now for free consultation!