A trademark is a sign/graphic representation serving to distinguish goods or services of a natural or legal person from those of others. The trademark is an essential element of the strategy of firms: it makes the distinction between a company’s products and services from those of competitors.
If you want to register a trademark in Romania, you can rely on our team of Romanian lawyers for legal advice on the procedure.
The following can be registered as trademarks: words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, figurative elements, three-dimensional shapes and forms of the product or the packaging or color combinations as well as any combination of such signs.
Any individual or company can register a mark. As a trademark holder, one will receive a certificate of registration, which will provide specific rights to its holder.
A trademark registration gives the holder an exclusive right to use the trademark for products and/or services for which registration was made, for a period of 10 years since the moment when the trademark registration was completed.
Through this, the owner of the trademark will be able to prohibit other entities to use the respective trademark. Our Romanian lawyers can offer more details on other rights that are granted to the owners of a trademark certificate.
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What is the trademark registration process in Romania?
The trademark registration in Romania can be renewed for an additional 10 years period at the request of its owner. For the registration of a trademark it is required to file an application for registration with OSIM on a form, in Romanian, which contains:
- a Romanian applicant has to provide personal information, such as the name, his or her address, and contact details, such as the phone number;
- foreign applicants have to offer information on their country of residence, as well as the country in which their activity is developed;
- if the applicant is a company, the applicant must offer information on the legislation regulating the registration of companies in the respective country;
- a statement to invoke the right of priority, indicating the state and the first deposit, if the priority is claimed from an earlier application;
- the applicant must also offer details on the colors (or color) used for the trademark;
- one must also make a statement on the three-dimensional shape of the sign;
- it is also necessary to present information on the trademark characters (letters or figures) other than the ones used in Romania;
- if the words composing the trademark are not in Romanian, one must prepare a translation on the meaning of the respective words.
The applicant should also identify the goods or services for which trademark registration is required, grouped according to “Classification of Nice“; the application must include the signature of the applicant or, if the applicant has a representative, the signature of the latter will be required.
For additional information on what other obligations the applicants must meet during their trademark applications, you can always address to our Romanian law firm.
When submitting the application, one has to prepare a graphic reproduction of the trademark, which must have a size of up to 6 x 6 cm. Please mind that if you register a trademark in Romania, the protection of the sign is available only on the Romanian territory.
The video below offers a short presentation on how to register a trademark in Romania:
What are the trends on trademark registration in Romania?
The interest of Romanians in protecting intellectual property can be observed starting with the 1990s, after the fall of communism.
Although in the first years after Romania became a democratic society the number of trademark registrations was not very high, after 1994 – 1995 it can be said that more and more persons became interested in the application process for trademark registration, as revealed by the data gathered by the World Bank (data referring to Romanian resident applicants):
- in 1990, the first year after the fall of communism, Romania registered 654 trademark applications;
- in 1991, the number of applications reached 1,348 and by 1994, there were 2,767 applications;
- the next relevant record was in 1997, when there were 4,369 trademark applications;
- since 2000, the interest in registering trademarks increased year after year, reaching a record high in 2006, when there were 12,720 trademark applications;
- since 2006 to 2012, the number of yearly trademark applications decreased, the lowest point being in 2012, which recorded only 7,741 trademark applications;
- since 2013 to 2018, the yearly number of trademark applications was above 8,000, with 8,226 trademark applications registered in 2018.
If we take into consideration the overall number of trademark applications done in Romania, which includes foreign applicants, the data modifies drastically.
For instance, in 2006, the year with the highest number of applications (12,720) done by Romanian residents, accounts for a total of 21,299 trademark applications, when counting the foreign applicants as well.
In 2018, when the applications of Romanian residents accounted for 8,226 files, the total applications reached 10,515.
It must be noted that in the first decades after the fall of communism, the share of foreigners registering their trademarks in Romania was rather large compared to the overall number of trademark applications (for instance, in 1991, there were a total of 6,169 applications and the ones of the Romanians accounted for only 2,767 files).
What is the law on trademark registration in Romania?
For those who want to register a trademark in Romania, who are foreigners or Romanian, the legal basis under which this procedure can be done is given by the Law 84/1998 on Trademarks and Geographical Indications.
The legislation was modified under the Law no. 112/2020 and the latest amendments of this law can be presented by our team of Romanian lawyers.
It is also important to know that Romania is a member of the Madrid Protocol and the Madrid Agreement and it currently follows the 11th edition of the Nice Classification.
The institution in charge with trademark registrations is the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), where one has to submit the application and wait for the formal examination of the application.
Please be aware that the process can last up to approximately 1 year, and this can apply as long as there aren’t any parties that oppose the registration of the respective trademark.
If so, the process can be delayed based on the characteristics of the case and the evidence brought by the party opposing the registration of the respective trademark.
Our team of Romanian lawyers can offer more information on this procedure and what it involves for the applicant and you must know that in the case in which no one opposed the trademark or the opposition terminated in favorable manner for the trademark applicant, the registration procedure will be completed when the opposition is terminated.
When this happens, it means that the trademark will be registered with the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks and will be published in the Official Bulletin for Industrial Property. However, the publication involves the payment of a fee.
Please mind that this procedure is actually very important because if the applicant does not pay the fee, the institution will consider that the applicant no longer wants to register the trademark.
If so, the respective trademark will be published in the Trademark Register as a sign that is no longer of interest to his or her owner.
What is the law on patents in Romania?
A patent in Romania refers to another type of intellectual property, that is designed to protect the property of a person or a company, that has invented a new product/service.
The registration of a patent is similar with the one of a trademark in Romania, but there are certain differences, as the object of registration is very different. For patents, the law is more complex.
Currently, the registration of a patent in Romania is done following the Law no. 64/1991 – the Patents Law. Other procedures derive from the Implementing Regulation of the Patents Law following the Government Decision no. 547/2008.
According to the Romanian law, a patent must present the following characteristics:
- it is new;
- it has an innovative component;
- it can be used at an industrial level.
How can one register a patent in Romania?
The procedure for the registration of a patent can be done in Romania through OSIM, just like in the case of the registration of a trademark. Overall, the Romanian law grants the right to 3 main registration routes:
- through the State Office for Patents and Trademarks (OSIM);
- as per the rules of the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970, which is implemented by OSIM starting with 15 October 2019;
- through registration at a European level, which will be then recognized in Romania.
The registration of a patent grants the right to protection on the Romanian territory for a limited period of time, just like in the case of trademark registration in Romania.
If in the latter case, the validity of the registration is of 10 years, in the case of a patent in Romania, the validity is of 20 years. Please mind that the registration will grant exclusive rights to the inventor for a period of 20 years.
In some cases, the Romanian law offers the possibility to extend the validity of the patent. You can find out more when this can apply from our team of Romanian lawyers.
What can be a patent in Romania?
The definition of a patent is extended to numerous types of products. The Law no. 64/1991, Chapter II, provides the legal understanding of what a patent can be in Romania. You can find out below some of the inventions that can be registered as patents:
- a product or a process that can be used in any technological field, and which can be entirely new or that has an innovative component (an inventive step that can be directly used in various fields);
- inventions related to the field of biotechnology, as long as a set of factors are met.
Our law firm in Romanian can detail the list of factors that influence the registration of a patent in Romania in the latter field.
What happens when there are more inventors for a patent?
In cases where there is only 1 inventor, the investor will obtain exclusive rights. According to the Article 3 of the Patent Law, the rights can be passed on to the successor of the inventor, where applicable.
However, in the case in which the invention was created by 2 inventors (or more), then all of them will have joint rights (according to the Article 4).
In the situation in which 2 different inventors have invented the same product independent from each other, the patent rights will be awarded to the person who applied first for patent registration.
Oftentimes, an invention can be created from an employment relation. This means that a person can work in research and create an innovative product, while working for an employer. In this case, other rules will apply concerning patent registration and patent rights.
The law is more complex in this situation, as the patent rights can be granted to either the employer, either the employee, based on certain factors. We invite you to request legal assistance on this subject from our Romanian law firm.
Given that there are numerous steps that should be carefully completed by the applicant, we invite you to contact our law firm in Romania for professional legal representation on this process, as well as for legal assistance on the latest modifications of the law regulating trademark registrations.