Registration of a Trademark in Cyprus
Trademarks and Service Marks in Cyprus are regulated by the Law Cap. 268 (as amended by the Laws 63/1962, 69/1971, 206/1990 and 176(I)/2000) which confers protection in combination with the provisions of the International Convention of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property and Regulations of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Trademarks in Cyprus are also governed by the Madrid Agreement (1891) and the Madrid Protocol (1989) concerning the international registration of trademarks, by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, EU directives and regulations.
Protection in Cyprus is conferred not only to trademarks which belong to Cypriot owners but also to trademarks owned by foreigners. Accordingly, no discrimination is made between trademarks with their base in Cyprus and trademarks which have their base in another country.
Relevant for the registration and protection of trademarks in Cyprus is the Office of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver (the Registrar).
What is a Trademark?
- A trademark can be constituted of logos, words, names, symbols, numbers, designs, sounds and smells, images, colours, the shape of goods, or the mixture of a number of such elements.
- The trademark in order to be registrable must satisfy at least the following criteria:
- It must be distinctive;
- Not similar to any other trademarks, especially of the same class, already registered, or the examination of their application is pending;
- Not to be capable to deceive or confuse the general public
Procedure before the application
- It is preferable to carry out a preliminary legal search throughout the records of trademarks which are kept in Cyprus by the relevant department of the Registrar, before submitting an application. The search is conducted in order to examine the existence of any different, almost identical or completely identical marks, of the same class or of different classes, in relation to the one for which the application will be submitted.
- For the classification of trademarks the International Trademark Classification system under the Nice Agreement applies.
Application for the registration of a trademark in Cyprus
- A person who wishes to become the registered owner of a trademark, being already used by that person or which is going to be used by that person must empower a lawyer licensed to practice in Cyprus in order to apply in writing to the Registrar. The application submitted to the Registrar must be in Greek including all the relevant details of the applicant, the name and/or picture of the trademark, the type of the relevant register "A" or "B" in which the trademark belongs and the relevant class, accompanied with a power of attorney signed by the applicant authorizing the lawyer to submit the application.
- Upon submission the Registrar will examine the application in order to confirm that the mark is in conformity with the relevant legal criteria regarding distinctiveness etc., in order to be registerable.
- The Registrar has the discretionary power to approve the trademark as such or to approve its registration under conditions or to reject the application.
- Any decision taken by the Registrar will be announced to the applicant and the latter will have the opportunity to request in writing through his lawyer the reasoning behind the decision of the Registrar and to submit an objection to the Registrar if he is not satisfied with the decision.
- If the Registrar accepts the trademark unconditionally or if the applicant accepts the trademark conditionally, the trademark will be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus for the public to observe and submit its objections to the Registrar, if any, given that any objection must submitted within a specific time frame from the date of publicity in order to be taken into account and the applicant will have the right to respond to the objections.
- Upon the approval of the trademark for registration and provided that obstacles, as mentioned above, if any, have been overcome the Registrar issues the relevant Certificate of Registration and accordingly the exclusive right of use is conferred to the owner of the trademark.
Registration and renewal
The Certificate of Registration of a trademark remains valid for 7 years from the date of the filing of the application and after the first renewal it becomes renewable in every 14 years.
International registration of trademarks through Cyprus
- Cyprus became a party to the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol since November 4, 2003, by virtue of which trademark owners have now the opportunity to have their trademarks protected simultaneously in more than 80 countries (Madrid Union) or by selecting a few according to their business needs, by simply filing one application in one language directly with their own national trademark office.
- Upon approval a Certificate of Registration of the International Trademark is issued by WIPO.
- Through the Madrid system the subsequent management of the trademark is simplified since it makes it possible for any possible changes or renewal of the registration to be effected through a single and flexible process.