What trademarks can be registered?
According to article 4.1 of the Trademark Law: “a trademark is any sign capable of graphic representation that serves to distinguish in the market the goods or services of one company from those of others“. And think that there are different types of brands that could make up your hotel’s brand. The most important ones to take into account:
Denominative: one or more words with or without idiomatic meaning, combination of letters, and/or number, which in this case would not include any color or style.
Graphics: graphics, logos, drawings, etc.
Mixed: when the denominative and graphic ones are combined.
Sound: sounds that can be identified with the company and can be registered as trademarks.
However, there are certain legal prohibitions, so what could not be registered as a trademark?
Signs that cannot be represented graphically.
Gender and product or service specific signs.
Descriptive signs of the products or services (quality, quantity, destination, value, origin, time).
Signs contrary to the law, public order or good customs, or those that may mislead the public.
Signs that, without authorization, reproduce or imitate coats of arms, flags, insignia and public emblems.
What else should you consider?
First of all, keep in mind that the cost of registering your brand name would be the same as registering your hotel logo. For this reason, we recommend that you skip the step of registering the logo individually. It is best to perform this process only once.
Secondly, remember that, if you fill in the application for the registration of any design, you have to do it with the relevant colors. Otherwise, on the one hand, you would have to wait to correct the application; on the other hand, the colors could be essential to prove that there is no similar design.
For this last reason, it is also important that you do your homework. Obviously, if you trust an agency that specializes in your sector, you should have no problem. But you should always research the competition, to make sure you won’t get any opposition when you apply for registration because your mark is similar to another.
And who may apply for registration? According to the SPTO, any natural or legal person who may act directly or through an industrial property agent or authorized representative.
Now, what are the steps and what documentation do you need?
The steps you would have to take to register your trademark and logo, with the corresponding documentation, could be summarized as follows:
1. Check that there is no similar mark.
As we have said, it is convenient to know that there is no brand similar to yours. Before filing the application for registration of your creation, you must search the free access databases offered by the SPTO.
2. Decide the class number according to the list of goods or services.
In this case, according to the above list, Class 43 would be class 43, which includes reservation services for accommodation for travelers or other establishments providing temporary lodging.
3. Prepare the necessary documentation.
An express or implied statement that title is sought.
Data identifying the applicant (name, address and NIF).
In the case of the design of the logo trademark (distinctive sign), a reproduction of this distinctive sign together with an indication of the products to which it will be applied.
Along with proof of payment of the official fees.
And the authorization to the representative, if one has been appointed.
4. Submit the application to choose between:
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (in person or by telematic means).
Regional Industrial Property Centers of the Autonomous Community.
Post Offices, in an open envelope, by certified mail with return receipt requested.
Any administrative body of the General State Administration, or in any Administration of the Autonomous Communities. (for example: Government Delegations or Subdelegations; Industry, Tourism and Commerce Areas).
Processing, rights and obligations.
Once the application is submitted, the agency is responsible for examining it and, if the required documentation has been submitted, it is given the day, hour and minute of submission and a number that will identify the file.
Subsequently, the competent body will carry out an examination of lawfulness and once passed, it will be published for two months in the Official Industrial Property Gazette, so that any person who considers himself harmed may file a written opposition.
And if after this period it passes another in-depth examination, in which the legal prohibitions mentioned above are taken into account, the SPTO would proceed to grant the trademark, which would have to be renewed every 10 years from its application date.
Needless to say, registering your trademark, in which you have invested so much, is a must because it gives you the exclusive right to use it, preventing other people from using it.