Questions about trademarks
Here, we answer the most common questions we are asked about trademarks.
You might like to start by looking at the PRV School on trademarks, which gives an introduction to trademark protection.
Here are the most common questions we get about trade mark. They are grouped under headings to make it easier for you to find the answer to your question.
Good to know in the beginning
You may also need a patent and design protection. Find out the differences between different forms of intellectual property rights.
A company name is the name of a registered company which has been registered by the Swedish Companies Registration Office. A trademark is applied for via the PRV and is a characteristic which distinguishes your particular product or service and distinguishes it from others.
If there is already a company with the same or a similar name in Sweden, with the same or similar business to yours, this may be an impediment to you using or registering it as a trademark.
A trademark is a characteristic which is used and can be registered to market and sell goods and/or services. A domain name is an internet address, e.g. prv.se. Domain names are used to create a company’s identity on the internet.
Yes. You can search the Swedish Trademark Database. You can also contact our customer support team, who will be able to tell you.
Trademarks are the characteristics of goods or services. Provided that a slogan meets the requirements, it can be registered as a trademark.
In a trademark application, you must state the goods and services that you wish to use the trademark for. You can therefore not apply to register a slogan generally, as it must be linked to specific goods or services.
It is the whole of the mark that is registered. In general, if the text in a mark is distinctive (and could be registered separately), it can be protected as part of the whole. However, this does not apply if the text in the mark is only descriptive of the goods/services to which the mark relates.
Thus, the text in a figure mark can also be protected by the registration, preventing third parties from registering similar trademarks for the same types of goods or services. However, if you want the name to be registered as a separate trademark, you will need to submit a separate application for registration of a word mark.
™ Trademark. This symbol is used to indicate to the outside world that, for example, a particular word or figure is used as the characteristic of a particular business. The use of ™ has no legal significance in Sweden.
® Registered. This symbol is used to indicate that a particular trademark has been registered as a trademark. The actual use itself has no legal significance in Sweden, but it is an offence under the Marketing Act to use the symbol if the trademark has not been registered.
Or who can be the owner of a registered trademark?
The applicant can be a Swedish or foreign natural or legal person. Legal persons are for example different kinds of businesses, associations or foundations. Government agencies as well as countries, municipalities and municipal bodies are also examples of legal persons that can apply for a trademark registration. A secondary name, a branch or a so-called consortium are not legal persons in themselves and cannot apply for a trademark registration. The applicant is not required to run a business.
It is possible for two companies or private individuals to jointly apply for trademark registration. If the trademark is subsequently registered, both companies will be registered as holders of the joint registration.
Apply for a trademark in Sweden
To protect a name or figure as a trademark, you need to submit an application to register a trademark. The fastest and cheapest way of applying is to use our Swedish Trademark Application service.
You do not need to be an enterprise with an organisation number in order to apply for trademark registration. You can just as easily apply as a private individual. If you are applying as a private individual, you do not need to fill in the social security number in your trademark application; it will be enough to enter the applicant's name and address.
The length of time it takes before you receive notification will partly depend on the number of applications we receive and have to process. Via our website, we will provide regular information on the cases we have started to process, depending on the week in which we received them.
Our customer support team can answer questions about how to register a trademark, provide general guidance and perform simple searches in the trademark databases. They can also explain the requirements that must be met in order to register a trademark, but they cannot make any individual assessments or conduct any investigations.
For more in-depth advice and consultation, you can contact a legal representative. To help you, we have developed a guide for choosing a trademark agent. You can read more about what you need to consider when choosing an agent here.
You must pay the fee regardless of whether or not your trademark application is approved, as the fee relates to the processing of your application. The fee also depends on the number of classes you need.
A trademark registration is valid for ten years. You can then apply for renewal for a further ten years at a time. In principle, there is no limit on the number of times a trademark can be renewed. The ten-year period starts on the date you submit your application.
You can only make minor changes to a trademark that has already been registered. In such a case, the changes must be so insignificant that they do not affect the overall impression of the mark. In the case of a new logo with a new appearance, you will need to submit a completely new application for trademark registration.
Goods and services
When applying for a trademark, you must describe the goods and services that the trademark is to cover. In addition to specifying the goods and services, you must also state the classes in which they are included. There are 45 different classes for trademarks, where classes 1-34 contain goods and class 35-45 services.
In your list of goods and services, you will need to state the class numbers and goods and/or services in each class which the application covers.
If you use our e-service, you can choose from pre-defined terms for the goods and/or services that the application covers. The e-service contains broader wordings (e.g. "Clothing" in class 25), as well as more specific ones (e.g. "Sweaters" in the same class). In your application, you can specify “Clothing", which will then also include sweaters, as these are items of clothing.
You should note that it is not possible to expand an application once it has been submitted or an existing registered trademark by adding more classes or goods/services to it. In this case, you will have to submit a new application for registration.
Trademarks in the world
Yes, EU trademarks are valid in all EU countries, including Sweden.
Your Swedish trademark application is only valid in Sweden. If you want to obtain wider international protection, you can apply in one of several ways.
- If you wish to protect your trademark throughout the EU, you must submit your application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
- An international trademark registration is submitted via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). However, you must start by submitting an application to either PRV or EUIPO, as it is this application on which your application to WIPO will be based.
- If you only wish to apply for trademark protection in one country, you should submit your application directly to the intellectual property office of that country.
When you already have a trademark
You can renew a registered trademark no earlier than six months before the registration period expires and up to six months after the period has expired, in return for payment of a higher fee.
Six months before the registration period expires, PRV will send information about how to renew to the address you last notified us of.
Swedish trademarks are renewed directly with PRV and is most easily done using our e-service.
You can transfer a national trademark either via our Transfer of trademark ownership e-service or by sending the paper forms Application for registration/renewal concerning registered trademark and Confirmation of transfer of trademark ownership by ordinary post to PRV.
A fee will be payable regardless of whether the trademark is already registered or whether you are submitting an application.
When using our “Transfer of trademark ownership” e-service, you must attach a signed transfer agreement (see the form for transfer.)
There may be someone who wishes to assert a previous right to a trademark which could be confused with another trademark, or that they have an established right or that the trademark has been registered in bad faith.
Anyone wishing to object must write to PRV within three months of the date of announcement of the trademark concerned. PRV does not charge a fee for oppositions.
Your opposition must state:
- Personal or company name and postal address of the objector.
- If the objector is represented by an agent, the name and postal address of the agent.
- Information on the circumstances being cited as the basis for the opposition.
The opposition must be signed by the objector or his or her agent. The opposition and any other documents being cited must be submitted in duplicate.
We will send an acknowledgement of receipt of the opposition to the objector by return of post. A letter will also be sent to the holder informing them that an opposition has been received.
Do you have any further questions?
Our customer support is there to answer your questions and queries. Customer support can also help you get in touch with our experts if necessary. Customer support also has an extensive network of contacts with other innovation actors and can advise you on who to contact for further support and advice.
Contact our customer support on phone: +46 (0)8 782 28 00