Make sure you have everything you need at hand to register your Benelux trademark. You can do a quick check by using these 4 steps for trademark registration.
Register a trademark outside of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg ? Check your options here
Step 1: Check before registering whether your trademark already exists
Avoid complicated legal situations and make sure you check beforehand whether your trademark already exists or whether someone has already registered a trademark that is similar to yours. Make sure also that there is no trademark belonging to another company in the name of your company, product or service.
How to check whether your trademark already exists:
Check your trademark in the BOIP Trademarks Register.
Fill in the name and/or logo of your trademark and check whether they – or variations of them – already exist.
Look in the Trade Register.
The Trade Register contains all the companies and legal persons participating in economic activities.
Search carefully on the internet.
Sometimes a trademark is not included in the BOIP Trademarks Register but is actively used within a particular branch. You must also consider that possibility.
Tips: here is how to search the BOIP Trademarks Register
- Don't just search for the exact word, but also for variants on it. Rather than searching for Apple alone, search for Aple, Appel, and Pomme, for example. Trademarks that resemble yours may also present a danger.
- If you find a trademark that resembles yours, check which goods and services it has been registered for. A problem could arise if the trademarks resemble each other and the goods and services correspond. The trademarks Ajax FC, Ajax fire extinguishers and Ajax cleaning products can exist alongside each other without further ado because the trademarks are registered for goods and services that do not overlap.
- Do you also trade outside the Benelux? If so, we advise you to check via TMView whether your trademark is listed in the registers of other countries.
My trademark is not yet listed in the Trademarks Register
Did you search the Register and is your trademark still available?
Step 2: Choose a distinctive trademark
You register your trademark because you want to record and protect precisely those elements by which customers recognise you and your products or services. The entire trademark must be distinctive both now and in the future: whether you choose for a word mark, a figurative mark or a figurative mark with word elements.
How to check whether your trademark is distinctive:
Your trademark must not be descriptive.
Your trademark must do more than simply describe your product or service. The name ‘Biomild’ for yoghurt with a mild flavour is therefore not acceptable. ‘Mona’, however, for yoghurt is accepted. A simple image of a fish for a fishmonger’s shop is also not acceptable.
Your trademark must not be misleading.
The consumer cannot be misled by a name or a logo. So that means, for instance, no logo with what is clearly an image of coffee as a trademark for tea or sleep aids.
Your trademark may not consist of a commendation.
Your trademark may not be a simple value judgement on its own, so ‘the best’ or ‘the nicest’ is therefore not acceptable.
For more tips, take a look at our page Acceptance and refusal of trademarks.
Note: if your trademark is not sufficiently distinctive, we have to refuse your trademark application. This means you then have no registered trademark and the costs paid are non-refundable.
Step 3: Choose your products and/or services
You register a trademark for specific products and services. Your brand is only protected for the products and services that you select.
Those products and services are divided into 45 classes:
- Classes 1-34 cover products.
- Classes 35-45 cover services.
3 tips for choosing your products and/or services:
Select only the products and/or services for which you are actually going to use the trademark.
If within 5 years you have not used the trademark for all the products and/or services you selected, you run the risk that someone else might oppose your trademark being registered for them.
You cannot add any other products or services after your trademark has been published.
If you have concrete plans to deliver new products and/or services within 5 years, it is advisable to indicate such in your application. If you do not have any such concrete plans, but you do expand your services at some point, you will then have to make a new trademark application.
Use the search function when selecting products and/or services.
The search function allows you to search for authorised terms. Tick off these terms and add them to your trademark application. If you search for terms you think of yourself, the application process takes longer.
Trademark registration fees
The number of classes you choose determines how much you will pay for your trademark registration.
- The cost for 1 class is € 244;
- The cost for the 2nd class is € 27;
- The cost for each extra class is € 81.
Step 4: Apply for your trademark registration
You have all the information available at hand to apply to register your trademark:
You have checked whether your trademark exists already.
You know whether your trademark is distinctive.
You have selected the correct products and/or services.
If you are missing information, run through the 4 steps.
Apply for your trademark registration
Do you already have a My BOIP-account? You can start right away!
Are you unsure whether your trademark qualifies for registration?
BOIP is an independent body and pleased to be able to provide you with extensive information about registering your trademark. However, we cannot give advice about your personal situation. If, despite our help, you still have difficulties with your application, we advise you to contact an IP professional specialised in trademarks. They can advise you on the best protection for your brand and take care of the registration procedure for you. You can find contact details of specialists at www.bmm.eu.