12-17-2009 (Newsletter Issue 6/10)
Accession to Singapore Treaty
Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks: Accession by the Principality of Liechtenstein
The Singapore Treaty will enter into force, with respect to the Principality of Liechtenstein, on March 3, 2010.
Legal basis is the law of December 12th, 1996, and the decree of April 1st, 1997.
Liechtenstein is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices and any combination of the mentioned signs as well as three-dimensional forms. Theoretically registrable also are colours, colour combinations, sounds, smells, holograms and movement marks.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service
marks, collective marks and certification marks.
The trademark applications in Liechtenstein are to be filed at the Office for Economics („Amt für Volkswirtschaft“) formerly called Office for Commerce and Transport („Amt für Handel und Transport“).
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A non-legalised power of attorney is sufficient. The original power has to be submitted.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination and an examination of distinctiveness, but no search for prior trademarks. The trademark is registered when, according to the registrar, it can not be refused on absolute grounds.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 4 to 6 months.
After registration, the trademark is published in the journals “Liechtensteiner Vaterland” and “Liechtensteiner Volksblatt”.
There are no provisions for filing opposition against a pending trademark registration.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
no opposition period
Protection begins with the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years. It is renewable for periods of 10 years.
If the trademark has not been used for a period of 5 consecutive years from registration, it may be vulnerable to cancellation due to non-use. Protection can be restored, when the trademark is started to be used after a 5-year period of non-use if no third party has requested cancellation due to non-use in the meantime.
The official fee is CHF 400.00 (approx. EUR 265.00) for up to three classes and CHF 50.00 (approx. EUR 33.00) for each additional class exceeding the third one.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In Liechtenstein a licence agreement does not have to be in writing. It may be concluded orally or inferred by conduct. The Law on the Protection of Trademarks (Markenschutzgesetz 1997) re-quires licence agreements of registered trademarks to be in writing. It is permitted to license the use of unregistered marks. A licence to use a trademark may be limited to only some of the goods and/or services in respect of which the mark is registered. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence agreement. There are no statutory provisions which require specific terms to be incorporated into a licence agreement.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee with the Trademark Office. The recordal is mandatory for registered trademarks. There is no time frame for a recordal.
The following documents are required for a recordal:
1. A written declaration by the trademark owner of his intention to license the trademark
2. The name, surname or company name and address of the licensee, and whether the licence is exclusive or not
3. If a licence is granted partially, the extent to which it is granted
4. In the case of sub-licences, evidence that the sub-licensee is entitled to grant sub-licences
A licence becomes effective from the application date of the entry of the registered user. The licence is required to be published in local newspapers, the “Liechtensteiner Vaterland” and “Liechtensteiner Volksblatt”.
There is an evidentiary presumption that use by a recorded licensee is permitted use. A licensee may join the proprietor in infringement proceedings. The registered user may call upon the trademark owner to institute infringement proceedings, if so agreed in the licensing agreement. In that event specific provisions to that effect have to be stated in this agreement. The registered user is not required to cite the proprietor as co-defendant in any such proceedings.
Country Index is a free service of S.M.D. Markeur, an international IP searching and monitoring firm.
|Word Mark Search (availability)
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|Extended Search (word mark, company name, domain)
|Device Mark Search (availability)
|Trademark Owner Search
|Company Name Search
|Domain Name Search (extended)
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided: