Frequently Asked Questions
In this section you will find answers to the questions most frequently asked by our clients regarding Trademarks, Patents and Designs in Greece.
As a general rule, any sign that can be presented on a paper can be filed as a TM. For example, TMs may be one or a combination of words (even the name of a person or a company or the title of a newspaper or a magazine), letters and numerals as well as designs in black and white or in colour, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods and symbols.
Moreover, audible signs such as music or vocal sounds and even signs consisting of the combination of image and sound (multimedia marks) can also be considered as TMs.
A proposed TM must fulfil certain conditions in order to be accepted for registration by the Greek Trademark Office. We mention below the most important reasons that can prevent the final registration of a TM application:
- The proposed TM is identical or similar to a pre-filed TM that covers identical or similar goods or services or even different ones, provided though, that the pre-filed TM is a mark of fame. However, the rejection of the application for such reason (relative ground) depends on a successful decision on an opposition filed by any third party concerned.
A search in the TMs that already exist is suggested before the filing of a new TM application in order to avoid unnecessary expenses.
- It is not sufficiently distinctive, so that consumers can not identify it with the products/ services that come from a particular company, or distinguish it from other TMs identified with similar products/ services of a different company.
- It consists exclusively of signs or elements that declare the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, place of origin or time of production of the goods or of rendering of the service, or other characteristics of the goods or service.
- It consists exclusively of signs or indications which have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade.
- It violates public order or morality.
- It is misleading or deceiving for customers especially regarding the nature, quality or place of origin of the goods or service.
- It includes badges, emblems or escutcheons which are of particular public interest, unless the consent of the competent authority to its registration has been given.
- It is filed in bad faith.
In order to file a TM application in Greece the following documents are required:
- A Power of Attorney simply signed by the owner. If the applicant is a company, the Power of Attorney must be signed by its legal representative.
One Power of Attorney is sufficient for one or more applications of the same applicant. The same Power of Attorney can also be used on further applications.
Note: The above document must be filed at the time of filing the TM application.
- The list of goods/services that the TM will cover.
- If the mark is figurative, the logo in .tif format.
In the event that a TM has been pre-filed in a country (country of origin), priority can be claimed upon filing of the TM application in a new country. In this case the TM protection begins in the new country from the date of the TM application in the country of origin.
A priority right is acquired in Greece under the following conditions:
- It is claimed within 6 months as from the date of the TM application in the country of origin.
- The Priority Document, notarized and further legalized with Apostille, with its translation in Greek is submitted within 3 months as from the date of the filing of the application in the new country.
- In the event that the applicant for the TM is not the same as the applicant mentioned on the Priority Document, a TM Assignment Deed with its translation in Greek must also be submitted. If this Assignment Deed is not certified by the Trademark Office of the country of origin, then it must be notarized and further legalized with Apostille.
- A TM application is filed with the Trademark Department of the Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation (OBI). The Controller examines whether the TM application meets the formalities required. Subsequently, the Researcher searches for any identical or similar earlier trademark applications/ registrations and the Examiner checks whether absolute grounds for refusal exist.
- The Researcher informs the owners of any prior identical or similar trademark applications/ registrations in case they wish to file an opposition.
- If no absolute grounds for refusal apply, the Examiner accepts the TM application and the application is published within 50 days as from the application date in case a third party wishes to file an opposition (3-month time limit).
- If no oppositions are filed or these are rejected the Registrar registers the TM application.
- If the TM application does not meet the formalities required the Controller requests the applicant to correct the deficiencies within 30 days (or 60 days for the foreign applicants). If the applicant does not respond as requested the TM application is archived or rejected (depending on the particular deficiencies) and the applicant is notified accordingly.
- If the Examiner discovers that at least one of the absolute grounds for refusal applies he requests the applicant to withdraw his application or to restrict the coverage of protection of the TM or to file his observations within 30 days (or 60 days for the foreign applicants).
- If the applicant restricts the coverage of protection of the TM or if the observations are considered to be well-grounded the application is approved and the relevant decision is published within 30 days as from the date of the application for restriction or from the date of the filing of the observations.
- If the applicant does not respond within the time limit set in item 7 or he does not withdraw his application or he does not restrict the coverage of the TM protection or, finally, his observations are not considered to be well-grounded the Examiner fully or partially rejects the TM application and the relevant decision is notified to the applicant and published.
- The decision of rejection (item 8) may be objected through a Recourse before the Administrative Trademark Committee within 60 days (or 90 days for the foreign applicants).
- – In the case that the objecting decision is overruled the decision of acceptance is published in case a third party wishes to file an opposition.
– In the case that the objecting decision is retained this decision is subject to a Recourse before the Administrative Court of First Instance and, subsequently, an Appeal before the Administrative Court of Appeal.