Interesting news for entrepreneurs who want to protect their trademark: In 2022, the European Union will provide vouchers or coupons that will subsidize up to 75% of the cost of filing your trademark. Similar discounts apply to filings of designs.
Why is it interesting to protect your trademark or design?
As an entrepreneur it should be a reflex to protect your intellectual property. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. As lawyers, we often see disputes between entrepreneurs or companies concerning the use – or misuse – of another company’s name. Some examples are: advertising under the trademark of a competitor, misleading advertising, comparative advertising, domain names or social media accounts that are “occupied” by competitors, slogans or logos that are shamelessly copied, …
Unfortunately, these kinds of cases are for us a daily occurrence. Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur you can protect yourself against annoying competitors who want to take advantage of your success by operating under a very similar name or by copying your logo or advertising slogan. Trademark law, design law, copyright and the protection of know-how and trade secrets provide companies with many building blocks to safeguard their intellectual property.
The latter is very important in this digital age. After all it is your name, your know-how and your ideas that make your company unique. It is never fun to realize that others take advantage of your investment of time, money and energy. Moreover, your intellectual property can form an important part of your company’s assets and thus determine the value of your company considerably. Active and appropriate protection should be a basic reflex for you as a business owner.
What kind of discount will apply in 2022?
The European Union is also aware that your intellectual property deserves protection and that many companies unfortunately do not (yet) pay the necessary attention to it. Precisely for this reason, in 2022 significant budgets will be made available to ensure that European companies can afford to protect their trademark and designs.
Companies can get up to 75% of the application costs of their trademark and/or design registration refunded. The ‘IP voucher’ action is valid until December 16, 2022 and as long as the European budget is available. Entrepreneurs can get a total reimbursement of up to 1,500 EUR. You can read all the details here.
- In concrete terms, for the application of a Benelux or EU trademark or design you can obtain a 75% reimbursement, with a maximum of 1,500 EUR (to clarify, a Benelux trademark application can be filed from 244 EUR, an EU trademark can be filed from 850 EUR).
- For a trademark application outside the EU, this is 50%, still within the same maximum of 1,500 EUR.
How to obtain the discount for your trademark application?
You can apply for intervention within five consecutive periods, whereby the intervention becomes progressively smaller. Whoever takes action at the beginning of 2022 is thus entitled to the largest discounts.
However, there are some conditions attached to the discount system. For example, you may not have previously used national or European concessions for a trademark or design filing.
You can apply for the IP-voucher yourself as a company, but also an IP-professional is allowed to do this on behalf of your company. You can only apply for 1 voucher, but this may contain several Benelux or European trademarks and/or designs. It is important that you have requested the voucher before you file the actual registration for protection as a trademark or design.
Registering a trademark requires knowledge from a professional
Trademark and design applications are rather technical. As an entrepreneur, you can apply for a trademark registration yourself, however practice has taught us that many applications are refused due to poor quality of preparation with the result that many conflicts arise after the registration of a trademark. These conflicts exist with other entrepreneurs that are of the opinion that your registered trademark conflicts with their existing trademark.
So be well advised and let yourself be guided by a professional. Sirius Legal can assist you in applying for the temporary reimbursement as well as in registering your trademark or design.
Our “trademark filing” package (€650 excl. VAT) includes the following services:
- a prior thorough trademark research on identical filings, so that you do not come across conflicting trademarks
- an online check for other companies that use a similar name but which has not (yet) been registered as a trademark and for the availability of domain names
- a detailed research for the appropriate classes and descriptions for which you can request protection
- a clear report of our findings and advice
- the effective filing and follow-up of your trademark application
The filing fee is not included in the 650 EUR which you have to pay directly to the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) or to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), but this year with a significant discount.
Questions about trademarks?
Feel free to call or email Bart Van den Brande on +32 486 901 931 or at firstname.lastname@example.org