You need to register your trademark to protect it. Using a trademark or registering it as a domain name is not enough. A trademark is only protected if it is registered in a trademark register of an official authority. It is not until after you have registered it that you can prohibit third parties from using a trademark that can be confused with your trademark. During the application process, the official authority will consider the three following conditions as a minimum: the trademark must be unique, it cannot be misleading to the public and it cannot go against good morals or public policy.
Registration is required for each country in which you want the trademark to be protected. The Netherlands has a joint trademark register with Belgium and Luxembourg. You may also register a trademark for the entire European Union with a single registration. Other countries, both in and outside Europe, have their own national trademark register. A trademark registration is usually valid for ten years and can be renewed by ten years at a time. Read more on our IP Services page.
The trademark authorities in the Benelux and the European Union do not make allowance for any existing trademark registrations in their assessment of a trademark application. In other words, you may be presented with an objection after the trademark has been approved by the trademark authorities, for instance by means of an opposition. In order to avoid unexpected objections, you would be well-advised to perform a search into the availability of a trademark before filing a trademark application.
We charge fixed fees for registering a trademark. All the procedures that are required for trademark registration are included in these fees.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of our trademark attorneys if you want to learn more about trademark registration. They can provide you with an exact quote or offer advice tailored to your needs.