State coats of arms, national flags and municipal coats of arms are examples of official marks. In order to use an official mark in your trademark, you need permission from the right authority.
The marks can also concern other state emblems, state inspection or guarantee marks and other expressions that refer to the Swedish state and the mark therefore reflects an official nature. This includes, for example, the designations ‘State’ or ‘National’.
Apply for permission to use an official mark or designation
PRV is the supervisory authority for official Swedish marks and designations. The permit review can either be done in connection with a trademark application or without a connection to a trademark application. In this kind of permit matter, the Swedish National Archives are the referral body and provide opinions regarding heraldic coat of arms matters to PRV. This is most often done through the Director of the Heraldic Section.
An application for a permit must be made in writing and be sent to:
Swedish Intellectual Property Office
826 27 Söderhamn
There is no special form to use, but the application document must include:
- Your (the applicant’s) name or company name and address.
- Clear information on the design or mark that the application concerns.
- Information on the goods or services the design or mark will be used for.
- A clear depiction of the design.
If you are to use a state coat of arms in your business activities, you must state the reasons why in your application.
Fee and payment
When you apply for permission to use an official Swedish mark or designation, you must pay a special fee according to PRV’s fee list.
When we obtain an opinion from the Swedish National Archives, there is also a fee that they charge for their opinion. Current prices, more information on the State’s official coats of arms and heraldry are on the Swedish National Archive’s website.
Swedish National Archive’s website (external website, in English)
Read more about official marks and designations in the Act on Protection for Coats of Arms and Certain Other Official Signs (1970:498).
Act on Protection for Coats of Arms and Certain Other Official Signs at the Swedish Parliament (external website, in English)
Ordinance on Certain Official Signs at the Swedish Parliament (external website, in English)
The county administrative board handles permits that concern provincial, county or district coats of arms and designations that can easily be confused with such signs.
Municipal councils (or the committee they appoint) handle permits for municipal coats of arms and designations that can easily be confused with such signs.