Registering a trademark is a sure way for companies to protect their brand and prevent other companies or individuals from using their signs and symbols. After they decide to open a company in Denmark, investors can also follow through with the trademark registration steps.
The Danish Patent and Registration Office handles all applications for trademark registration in the country. The process is straightforward and there are services that can be performed online, with applicable fees.
Foreign companies or individuals who are interested in trademark protection in Denmark can perform the registration steps with the help of one of our company formation agents in Denmark. We recommend reaching out to our agents when you cannot be present in the country during the entire registration procedure as well as prior to commencing the actual steps, in case you require more details or clarifications.
Applying for trademark registration in Denmark
Trademark registration in Denmark begins with filing an application with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office.
Applications submitted in English should be accompanied by their Danish translation. The fee for trademark registration is mandatory for the application to be processed. However, if the fee does not accompany the application in the first place, a one-month period is granted to make the necessary payment.
The fees for trademark registration in Denmark are exemplified below:
- – 2,000 DKK: the basic application fee for one class of goods or services; additional fees starting at 200 DKK apply for the second class as well as any following classes afterwards;
- – 2,000 DKK: the basic renewal fee which included only one class; an additional fee of DKK 200 applies for the second class and a supplementary fee of DKK 500 applies for each additional class after that;
- – 2,500 DKK: the fee applicable to those who wish to file an opposition; the same fee also applies for filing an administrative revocation;
- – 4,000 DKK: the fee for an administrative revocation based on the Danish Trademarks Act.
Please note that the fees were valid at the time this article was written. Entrepreneurs are advised to seek updated information. Our agents can help.
While trademark protection is not mandatory, it is advisable to register a trademark as this can be an important asset to the business. Essentially, many entrepreneurs who open a company in Denmark will file for a trademark protection application that will apply to their company logo, thus referring to their brand.
Having a registered trademark is a sign that the company takes its reputation seriously and that is distinguishes itself from other companies operating on the market. A company that uses a trademark (a logo but also a sign or symbol) can be easily found by its customers as it will be distinguishable. Having an attractive mark can also be used to grab the customer’s attention and make the business stand out.
A trademark is also an asset. As the business develops, the trademark will become more valuable. If the company (and trademark owner) decides to sell the business, the trademark can also be bought. Alternatively, it can be licensed.
Investors who decide to open a Danish company and consider that trademark registration is mandatory for their business can request the help of one of our company formation agents in the country. If they cannot be present in the country foreign investors can use a power of attorney to apply for trademark registration.
Trademark registration steps
The first stage, prior to the actual trademark registration in Denmark, is to decide on a mark that will be relevant for the product or service the company is offering. The trademark has an important role in establishing the businesses’ image and market presence and we advise entrepreneurs to take the time to think of a mark that will be easy to remember by clients (its distinctive character is important for this purpose) and at the same time reflect the company’s general theme or color scheme, when applicable.
Trademarks are not limited to a logo or a name, they can be:
- • Words: the distinctive name of the company that markets the product or service; many companies choose to register work marks;
- • Logos and combinations: figurative marks are either a logo (a uniquely designed figurative element with no letters, figures or words) or the figurative ones that also include words;
- • Colors and sounds: a color or combination or colors can be registered as a trademark; this is the case when the said color is essential for clients to recognize the product/service; songs or commercial jingles can also be registered when the public associates it with the product.
Once they choose their mark, entrepreneurs are required to choose the goods and services for which it will be used.
Once the application for a trademark registration in Denmark is submitted, the Patent and Trademark Office examine it thoroughly. The experts will look for similar marks, similar or infringing company names and others. If the trademark does not infringe others in any way, it is approved and a registration certificate is issued and send to the applicant. Also, the newly approved trademark is published in the Danish Trademark Gazette.
Investors who are interested in registering their trademark in Denmark should know that each submission is subject to a two-month opposition period during which other parties can object to a mark that has been published in the Gazette. If no opposition is file during this time, the final, formal trademark registration statement is then issues by the Office.
Foreign companies in Denmark can also benefit from some level of a trademark of protection through the Community Trade Marks, which are valid in the country. One of our Danish company formation agents can give you more information on this matter.
Some of the main advantages of trademark registration in Denmark include:
- – protection from infringement;
- – creating a competitive brand and having a commercial advantage on the market as a registered, recognized company;
- – defending the product.
Our company formation agents can give you further details on the process of trademark registration in Denmark and about your advantages as the holder of intellectual property rights.
How is a trademark application evaluated in Denmark?
The Danish Patent and Trademark Office evaluates the trademark applications based on the distinctiveness of the mark, similarity to other existing, registered marks, identical or almost identical names and other issues. The examination will take into consideration the following:
- Distinctiveness: a prerequisite for trademark registration in Denmark is distinctiveness; the registered logo, sign, word, etc., needs to be both distinctive and non-descriptive (meaning that it must not refer to the characteristics of the product);
- Similarity: the proposed mark is compared to all of the trademarks registered by the Office; a comparison is made with the ones registered with the national and the Community Trade Marks database; international registrations that have validity in Denmark are also considered;
- Comparison to company names: the proposed mark is also compared with company names that may be infringed by it; those that are identical or similar to existing company names can be rejected;
- Comparison to protected names: the trademark is also compared with family names that are protected and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
A registration certificate is issued once the report is complete and the Office approves the mark.
Those who apply for trademark registration in Denmark and leave the registration unused can lose their trademark. It is important to start using the mark within five years from the registration date in order to avoid losing it. It is useful to be able to prove that the registered mark is indeed used for the category of types of goods or services that is has been registered for. This means keeping invoices and other relevant documentation in order to prove its use. If the requirement to use the mark for the goods/services it has been registered for is not met, the it can be invalidated (this can also be partial, meaning that the mark will be invalidated for the category of goods/services for which it has not been used).
Incorrect trademark use can also be a reason why its holder can risk losing the mark. If it becomes a generic one, its usage may no longer be possible (if the holder has contributed to this and has remained passive). The degeneration of registered trademark can be prevented and an important step in ensuring this is to always use the mark in its proper form (including verbally), refraining from using it as a descriptive verb or conjugate it as a noun and take action against infringement as needed.
The experts at our company formation firm can give you in-depth information on the laws related to trademark and patent protection. We can help you if you are a local or foreign investor looking for the optimal solution for intellectual property rights protection.
What are the main laws governing intellectual property rights in Denmark?
It is important to know that Denmark has a local legislation protecting companies and citizens or residents registering copyrights, trademarks or patents with the DKPTO, but it has also adhered to various international treaties which provide for the extension of IP rights in other countries.
The most important local laws related to IP in Denmark are:
- – The Consolidate Patents Act;
- – The Consolidate Designs Act;
- – The Consolidate Trademarks Act;
- – The Consolidate Utility Models Act;
- – The Consolidated Act on Copyright.
Denmark is also a signatory member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties and of the Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks, among others.
Our experts in company formation in Denmark can offer information on the international treaties related to the protection of intellectual property.
What are other IP protection options in Denmark?
Based on the laws mentioned above, a Danish company or an individual can register trademarks, patents, utility models or copyrights related to their work with the Patent and Trademark Office. In order to do that they must file a set of documents with the Office depending on the intellectual property they want to protect. They must prove their work is original.
We remind investors of some of the most important IP rights they can protect in Denmark via the Danish Patent and Trademark Office:
- Patents: the exclusive right to an invention which has a technological nature; it is used to solve a technical problem;
- Utility models: this can be seen as a pre-patent phase; it is used to protect the technical design of the invention or idea, in the same way that the patent protects the invention;
- Designs: used to protect the shape and appearance of a product it can be used to protect the visual impression of the object (a particularly-shaped chair, for example);
- Trademarks: the subject of this article, the distinctive mark that differentiates one company’s identity from that of another business.
The main difference between the patent and the utility model is that the latter cannot protect the processes. Other differences include the following:
- • Validity: the patent is valid for up to 20 years while the utility model for only 10 years;
- • Examination: the patent is examined as part of the submission process, the utility model only upon request and with a fee;
- • Process time: the patent is granted in approximately 1 year, sometimes even 3 years; the utility model is issued faster and at lower costs;
- • Guarantee: the patent offers large guarantee for validity, while the utility model does not.
While trademark protection is important for the company, patent protection is important for those involved in technological invention creation. A company that is involved in both will be interested both in trademark protection and patenting its inventions.
Sime of the advantages of applying for a patent with the Patent and Trademark Office in Denmark include the following:
- • Exclusive rights: no other company will be able to produce the same product without the patent holder’s approval;
- • Trading: the license can be sold for a profit if the investor so wishes;
- • Attractiveness: the fact that the invention is patented can make it more attractive for potential investors;
- • Immediate rights: you will have to keep your new invention a secret until you apply for a patent, however, this becomes valid from its application date, meaning that you will be able to discuss your new invention and have it protected as soon as you submit your application.
We encourage companies in Denmark that have created new inventions (and individuals or sole traders) to file for a patent application.
Th basic fee for a patent protection application is DKK 3,000 and the publication fee for the grant of a Danish patent is DKK 2,000. Other fees apply for the re-establishment of a patent, as well as for the publication of the amended patent specifications. The same basic fee of DKK 2,000 also applies for the initial application for a utility model.
The basic application fee for one design is DKK 1,200 and the fee for each additional design (included in the same application) is DKK 700.
Please note that all the fees presented herein were valid at the time this article was written.
Also, the rights over the property registered with the DKPTO are:
- – 70 years after the creator’s life in the case of copyrights;
- – 10 years in case of trademarks;
- – from 5 to 25 years in the case of designs;
- – up to 20 years in the case of patents;
- – 3 years in the case of utility models.
You can contact us if you have more questions about trademark, patent or utility protection as well as the intellectual property laws in Denmark. Our team can assist you throughout the entire process of trademark registration in Denmark.
Please keep in mind that we can also help you open a company in Denmark.