In this era, safeguarding your business has become of utmost importance. In this blog post today, we will tell you what you need to know about safeguarding your business.

What is a Trademark? 

A trademark can consist of any signs, words, designs, letters, numerals, colours, shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds, provided that such signs can distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.

What documents are required for a Trademark? 

If the trademark is an image, a graphical representation is required along. Other documents may also be required when filing a trademark application such as priority certificates or regulations in the case of applications for Collective or Certification Marks. 

How long does it take? 

Normally it takes between 3 to 5 months from date of filing to date of registration. 

Does the trademark office conduct relative searches? 

As part of the examination to assess whether a trademark is capable of registration, the office will conduct a search so as to check whether a similar or identical trademark is already registered or applied for in Malta and in the European Union. The application will also be examined on absolute grounds of the law such as descriptiveness, public morality etc. 

Are retail services protected in Malta? 

Yes, retail services are one of the 45 categories of goods or services that are protected in Malta, at European level or worldwide. 

What is a Patent? 

A patent is an invention that is novel, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

How long does a Patent application take? 

This will take approximately eighteen months from date of filing to date of grant, given that the law stipulates that a patent cannot be published before 18 months from the date of filing. 

What is a Design?

Designs protect the novel appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself, and/or its ornamentation. 

How long does a Design application take? 

It takes approximately 1-2 months from date of filing to date of registration. 

Can I have a Patent, Trademark and Design for the same product/process?  

Yes, a new product or service could have different intellectual property rights some of which require protection through a registration procedure. For example, if a new product involves an inventive step, then you should patent it. If this new product’s aesthetic shape is original, then you should also protect the design. Moreover, the new product should also be identifiable through a unique brand name which you should therefore also protect by registering it as a trademark. 

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