Intellectual Property

Contractual Drafting

The Cyprus Patent Office or the Cyprus courts provide advice and support to those involved in patent litigation. To prevent liabilities, maintain goodwill among customers, and preserve your brand’s integrity, we monitor and remove infringements on your behalf.

To protect their creations from unauthorised use, authors, artists, and designers can register the domain names of their creations. For these rights to remain valid, they must be actively maintained. For creativity to flourish and innovation to continue, we must preserve them. Cyprus has two types of intellectual property rights: trademarks and patents. Patents can cover inventions that are unique technological compositions, processes, and designs if they are distinctive enough to be recognised. Businesses can protect their trademark or patent an invention, but once the invention has been patented and the patent holder enforces their rights, other businesses will not be able to use the process without permission. Copyright protects many creations, including paintings, books, and computer software. In addition, it protects actors, directors, musicians, and other individuals who hold copyrights to their works, copyrights also apply to them.

Design for industry:

An industrial design protects a products or part of a product’s look and feel. It is a very new concept, both locally and internationally industrial, and designs have only recently been covered by the law.

There are times when the value of a product may be increased by including such items, which are thereby preserved. To qualify for copyright protection, a design must be innovative and unique. The following are the conditions of Law 4(I)/2002 as outlined in the bill: novelty. According to section 4, a design is considered novel if there is no similar design or sample available at the time of filing. If a design differs only a few ways from another design or sample, it will be classified as “identical.” If a design differs only in a few ways from another design or sample, it will be classified as “unique.” and revealed to the public. When evaluating the uniqueness of a design or sample, one must consider the creator’s degree of free will now of creation.

“Public disclosure” is defined under Section 4(4). One of the following conditions must be met for a design or sample to be considered disclosed:

  • Exposed; or,
  • Applied in the business world;
  • Any alternative method of revealing this information.

WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization – International Trademark Registration

This policy applies not only to citizens of Cyprus but also to legal entities, offshore corporations established in Cyprus, and to the public of foreign nationals via their websites. As a result of WIPO’s efforts to prevent domain name conflicts, these databases have been made easier to access. A trademark search can be conducted on this site by anyone interested in registering a domain name in a gTLD or ccTLD using the existing online trademark databases.

The Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective method of registering and managing trademarks worldwide. It is possible to apply for protection in up to 128 countries by filing a single application and paying one set of fees.

WIPO’s direction, funding, and activities are determined by the decision-making bodies of its member nations. WIPO currently has 193 member countries.

An instrument of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General before becoming a member. An applicant may be a member of the Paris Union for Industrial Property or a member of the Berne Union for Literary and Artistic Works, a member of the United Nations, any of the UN’s Specialized Agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or a party to the International Court of Justice Statute, or an invitee from the WIPO General Assembly.

Is WIPO necessary for me?

There are two main objectives of WIPO: (i) to protect intellectual property worldwide and (ii) to ensure administrative cooperation among the intellectual property unions established by WIPO’s treaties.

How does the application process work?

An International Right (IR) application must be based on an initial national application in one of the member countries, for example, an EU or UK trademark application or registration. To claim priority, applicants must file their IR application at the same time as their national application or at any time after that (but within six months).

The trademark owner must indicate the class of goods and services that will be covered by the trademark, as well as the territories for which the brand will be used. It is the responsibility of WIPO to administer and maintain the trademark. Still, each country designated results in a trademark that exists, in the same manner as a national trademark application.

Madrid System benefits

There are several advantages to the Madrid System for companies with an international presence, including:

  • Reducing costs and streamlining the filing process;
  • It is streamlined, and all administration is handled centrally, including filing, registering, renewing, and maintaining;
  • Applications and correspondence are conducted in the applicant’s chosen language (English, French or Spanish);
  • There is no need to appoint local representatives in each designated country;
  • There are no formalities associated with documents, such as powers of attorney (although statements of use are still required in some jurisdictions);
  • Geographical protection may be extended at any time, so new designations may be added as they are commercially viable;
  • An examination period of either 12 months or 18 months is fixed. The trademark office will automatically grant protection to the application if no objections are raised;
  • It is unnecessary to appoint a local representative in that country if the national trademark office does not raise objections or if third parties do not file an opposition.

The designation of the European Union as an IR can be an ideal way to protect a mark in the EU, particularly if only part of the EU will object. It is often considered a less cumbersome mechanism than converting a directly filed European Trademark (EUTM) application to a national application since the IR system allows the EU designation to be converted to national designations in the countries not affected by the objection.

If you have any questions regarding international trademark registration or any other legal matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

EUIPO: European Union Intellectual Property Office/ OHIM – EU Trademark Registration

Trademarks may include words (including personal names), designs, letters, figures, colours, shapes, packaging, or sounds.

In accordance with the Amending Regulation (EU) 2015/2424, the “graphic representation requirement” was abolished on October 1st, 2017.

The Office’s authorized categories of trademarks allow you to apply without displaying your trademark graphically as long as it fits into one of those categories and can be represented in the accepted formats. It is possible to apply without illustrating your trademark if it falls within the categories of trade marks accepted by the Office and can be represented in the accepted formats.

The EPO

European patents are handled by the European Patent Office (EPO) under the EPC (European Patent Convention). A European Patent Convention (EPC) establishes a legal framework for the central filing and granting European patents. After the patent is granted, it does not become a bundle of national patents. Some countries are included in the EPO system, as opposed to the EU system. In addition to full member states (also known as designation states), optional extension states and validation states are also members of the EPO.

Which countries are covered by the EUIPO?

 Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Other territories are automatically covered by EUTMs:

Åland Islands, Azores, Ceuta and Melilla, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe (Including St. Barthélemy and the French part of Saint-Martin), Isle of Man, Jersey, Martinique, Madeira, and Réunion.

According to the UK IPO, EUTMs are recognized and defended without new registration

The Isle of Man and Jersey are part of the United Kingdom. 

Trademark Validity

Trademark registrations are valid for ten years from the date of application and can be renewed indefinitely. The applicant must submit the proper renewal within the prescribed time frame, although they still have an additional six months to complete the process.

Classes

Nice Classification (trademarks)

The Nice Classification categorizes goods and services in trademark applications filed with the European Union (EU). The total number of classes is 45. It is important to note that each class has its own set of terminology that provides a basis for defining the goods or services that will be protected by the EU trademark application. It is strongly recommended that applicants use the Nice Classification terms when indicating the goods and services in an EU trademark application. This prevents delays in the registration procedure caused by the need to translate the terms. Using generic terms will also improve the search capabilities of EU trademark databases, which will ultimately lead to greater transparency.

It is possible to search the Nice Classification using TM class, an interactive search tool that is available in all the official EU languages, as well as in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Turkish.

It is important to note that the original list of goods and services included in an EU trademark application may only be limited, not expanded. It is not permitted to add goods, services, or classes to the application as originally filed.

At the time of filing, you may indicate any number of classes, but only one class is covered by the application fee (850 euros). An additional fee will be charged if you select more than one.

Real Cost Fees

  • There is a basic fee of €850 for one class (if you apply online for an EU trade mark). Paper applications are subject to a fee of €1000.
  • Second-class goods and services are subject to a €50 fee.
  • For three or more classes, the fee is €150 per class.

The applicant must be represented by a lawyer, and the application must be submitted in Greek to the Registrar of Companies & Official Receiver.

To make the application on behalf of the applicant, the lawyer would need a power of attorney.

An application must contain the name, address, and other personal information of the applicant.

A description of the goods under which the trademark is applied must also be provided.

Depending on the type of trademark, please provide a color or black-and-white copy of the trademark.

To qualify for a trademark, it must be distinctive; it must be different from any other trademark previously granted; it must not be deceptive; it must not be offensive or contrary to public morals.

The provisions of sections 13 and 14 of the Code apply. In addition, 268 addressed the necessary characteristics of trademarks and prohibited features.

Procedures for registration

The registration process begins once the lawyer submits the application to the Registrar of Companies. An application number is provided, and the Registrar searches the comprehensive database of all registered trademarks, especially in the same category. It is essential that the trademark meet the strict criteria of distinctiveness and not consist solely of terms or representations that identify the general nature, type, quality, etc., of the goods within the category to which it belongs. In the event that the applied mark meets all the requirements listed in Section 11 of Cap. The Registrar approves the publication of the trademark in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus for public notification when it is not similar to any of the previously registered trademarks in Cyprus or on any other territories protected by an agreement or convention in Cyprus. Additionally, the Registrar is entitled to recommend any changes to the trademark, failing which the application will be rejected. The process of granting a trademark is pushed forward if no opposition is raised within two months, with the final step being the issuance of a certificate granting exclusive rights to the owner. A trademark must be renewed every seven years for the first seven years and every fourteen years thereafter. There is still an opportunity to appeal the Registrar’s refusal of registration if there are reasonable and legitimate grounds for doing so.

For any queries regarding any aspect of Intellectual Property Law, or any other legal matters under the sun, our law firm, Simon Zenios & Co LLC, is dedicated to providing comprehensive assistance and support and we are always available.  Whether you need assistance with the copyright protection, patent law, trademark registration, industrial designs or require any other legal advice, our firm is here to help.

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