To register a trademark in Spain, an application must be filed at the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office (SPTO).
The following information is required to file an application:
A correctly filed application is assigned a “filing date” and a number. The filing date is the date as from which rights in the mark are expected and the renewal term starts to run.
How does the registration process work?
Once the application has been filed, the SPTO conducts an examination to ensure that the mark complies with formalities and technical requirements. If everything is correct, the trademark is published in the Official Industrial Property Gazette (BOPI).
Once the examination period is over, the opposition period begins, consisting of a two-month term during which third parties may submit observations or oppose the registration of the application.
If no oppositions are filed, the SPTO will check whether the trademark comes under any of the absolute grounds for refusal established in Trademarks Law 17/2001 (Trademarks Law).
The processing of the application takes approximately six to twelve months. However, it can take longer. According to the additional provision of the Trademarks Law, the decision on whether to grant or refuse a trademark application must be issued within a maximum period of twelve months, provided that an office action is not issued, and oppositions are not filed by third parties, in which case the term is extended to twenty months.
Finally, after overcoming the various formalities, the trademark is granted, the registration is published in the Official Gazette and a certificate of registration is issued.
How long does a Spanish trademark registration last?
The mark is granted for ten years from the filing date and can be renewed indefinitely for successive ten-year periods.
What are the steps involved in keeping a Spanish trademark registration in force?
In order to keep the registration in force it has to be renewed every 10 years and the relevant fees must be paid.
In addition, in order to maintain the rights in a trademark registration it must be put to use on the goods and services it protects. Any changes in the representation of the mark, such as when a logo is brought up to date, should also be assessed from a trademark standpoint, since at times it may be necessary to file a new application.
Finally, if the trademark owner changes its name or address, or assigns ownership of a registration to a third party, those changes must be registered on the Trademarks Register.