Trademarks in Sweden
Guidelines for trademark
When applying for registration of a trademark in Sweden, there are guidelines. The Swedish Intellectual Property Office or PRV is the official authority for filing and registration of Trademarks in Sweden. More information about PRV can be found here- https://www.prv.se/en/
A summary of these Guidelines is mentioned herein below:
- The trademark must have a distinctive character
If there is no distinctive character, it is not a trademark. The design of the trademark must, in itself, be sufficient to be able to distinguish the trademark holder’s goods and services from those of other companies.
- The trademark must not risk being confused
The trademark must not risk being confused with another trademark. Under the Trade Marks Act, trademarks can be confused if they are identical or similar and refer to the same or similar goods and services.
- Special guidelines for names
The trademark must not contain anything that can be understood as another person’s surname that has special protection, generally known artistic names or similar names or contain an image of someone else.
Take account of copyright
A trademark must not infringe someone else’s copyright or right to a photographic image or a pattern.
- Permission required for official designation
A trademark may only contain a state symbol, flag or local authority coat of arms if given special permission.
- Requirement for submitted documents
A list of documents that are required for trademark filing in Sweden can be found here:
- A trademark must not be contrary to laws, other statutes, good practice or public order.
Trademark Filing process in Sweden
For new applications, it currently takes around 15-16 weeks to get feedback. The applicant then receives a letter or email notifying him that his trademark has been registered or he receives an order.
1. PRV receives the application
When the application has been received, PRV starts to check the criteria that must be met for giving a filing date. When the application has been given a filing date, the application becomes visible in the Swedish Trademark Database.
The PRV then verifies whether the application meets the guidelines in place. If the office finds impediments in registering the mark, then the applicant receives an order. This is a letter in which the office notifies why it is not able to register the application.
Thereafter, the office makes a decision whether to register, dismiss or refuse the case.
When the application has been completed correctly and there are no impediments, then the PRV office makes a decision to register the trademark. This is when the opposition period of 3 months starts. This means that the registration is not fully definitive until after 3 months. Thereafter, the applicant has an exclusive right to the trademark for 10 years and can renew it any number of times.
If the applicant does not reply to his order in the set period, PRV can dismiss the application. If the applicant corrects the deficiencies and pays a reinstatement fee no later than two months after the expiry of the reply period the office resumes the processing of the application.
If PRV still thinks that there is an impediment in registering the trademark it refuses the application. If the impediment does not apply to all the goods and services in the application, PRV can refuse part of it. This means that the applicant is still given a trademark registration, but not for all the goods and services he has applied for.
When the owner’s trademark is registered, it is then entered in the trademark register. In addition, a notice is published in the Swedish Trade Mark Gazette.
If an opposition to the trademark is received, then the applicant will have the opportunity to respond to the content of the opposition before PRV decides the matter.
Trademark Renewal in Sweden
A trademark registration in Sweden is valid for a period of 10 years and can be renewed by the brand owner every 10 years. Hence, a trademark can be renewed indefinitely.