Marks that may be registered in Cyprus
Trade Mark for Goods
Any mark that is capable by itself of distinguishing the goods of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.
Trade Mark for Services
Any mark that is capable by itself of distinguishing the services for undertaking from those of other undertakings.
Any mark may be registered as a collective trade mark if it is otherwise capable of being protected as a trade mark. A collective mark must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the members of an association which is the proprietor of the collective mark from the goods or services of other undertakings.
Any mark may be registered as a certification trade mark if it implies that the goods or services in relation to which it is being used are certified by the proprietor of the mark as to their quality, accuracy or any other characteristic including their ingredients or origin, if the mark relates to the method of production of the goods or if it relates to services, the method of their performance.
Coloured Trade Marks
A trade mark totally or partially restricted to one or more specific colour or an amalgamation of colours may be registered and any limitation will be taken into consideration by the Registrar or the Court in the decision about the distinctive character of the mark. If the trade mark is registered without any restriction, it is deemed registered in relation to all colours.
Types of trade marks that cannot be registered in Cyprus
The following marks cannot be registered and/or if registered, may be declared void:
A trade mark which is identical with an existing trade mark and the goods or services for which it is declared or registered are identical with those for which the existing trade mark is protected.
A trade mark which might cause confusion to the public about its relation to an existing trade mark, because of its identity or similarity with the existing mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services designated by the two marks.
Nominative or Descriptive Marks
Marks that are nominative or descriptive of the goods or services including:
- Marks falling outside the legal definition of a trade mark,
- Marks that are devoid of any distinctive character,
- Marks that consist entirely of signs that may serve to designate the type, quality, quantity, anticipated purpose, value, geographical origin or time of production of the goods or provision of the services or other details of the goods or services,
- Marks that consist exclusively of a figure that results from the nature of the goods themselves,
- Marks that consist exclusively of a shape essential to achieve a technical result and that gives significant value to the goods.
Note: A trade mark that is not otherwise distinctive may be registered or if registered may not be declared void if, before the date of application for registration and due to the use made of it, it has acquired a distinctive character.
Marks with prohibited content
Marks that contain prohibited content, as follows:
- Marks of such a kind as to mislead the public in any way but mainly as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods or services,
- Marks that include a sign of great symbolic importance, especially a religious sign.
- Marks which are unacceptable or may be void pursuant to Article 6 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property,
- Marks that are scandalous, immoral or contrary to public policy
A mark will not be registered, or if registered may be declared void, if it is scandalous are any part of it is immoral or contrary to public policy.
Trade Marks Register
In order for a trade mark to be registered in Cyprus, a written application for registration in the Register must be filed at the Registry of Trade Marks.
The Registrar of Trade Marks maintains the register, which comprises of all details relating to each trade mark registered, such as the name, address and descriptions of all the registered users, any waivers of exclusive use rights, the terms & limitations and such other issues with regards to registered trade marks. The register is open to the public, subject to any regulations specified.
Requirement of Distinctiveness
In order for a mark to be registered, it must be so distinctive as to be easily distinguishable from other marks.
Limitation on exclusive use rights
The right to exclusive use of a trademark, granted with registration, is subject to any condition that has been filed in the Register.
Registration of a trade mark is valid for a period of 7 years but may be renewed for additional periods of 14 years each, from the date of expiry of the initial registration or from the last renewal of the registration.
Rights in relation to trademarks may be enforced in the same manner as any other private property. When the exclusive rights to a registered trademark are being infringed, the proprietor may file an action in the District Court to enforce those rights under civil law. There are a number of remedies available for infringement of a registered trademark such as damages and court orders prohibiting further unauthorized use of the trademark (injunctions). If the infringement is on a large scale, the Court may order delivery of the marks for destruction or order the defendant to account for profits made through the sale of goods or provision of services in respect of which the trademark was infringed.
Procedure of Registration
Search & Advice
The applicant may appoint a lawyer practicing in Cyprus to inspect/search the Register of Trade Marks for identical or similar marks and any pending applications. A Preliminary Application for a mere opinion application of whether the trade mark would be accepted or not by the Registrar may be made.
In order for a mark to be registered, an applicant or a lawyer practicing in Cyprus must file with the Trade Marks Registrar an application containing all relevant details and a form signed by the applicant authorizing the lawyer to file such application.
Review by the Registrar
On receipt of the application forms, which are fully examined by the Registrar in order to determine whether they contain all the required information, and once the required fees have been paid, the Registrar appoints a filing date and a number to the mark and then conducts a search to establish the registrability of the mark.
Note: The date of filing the application is significant because if registration is granted, it is deemed to run from the date when the application was made. This enables the proprietor, once registration has been granted but not before, to sue for any act of infringement committed between the date of filing and the date when registration is granted.
Action by the Registrar
The Registrar of Trade Marks may accept, object or impose conditions and/or restrictions to the application.
The fees should be paid at the time of filing the application.
If the notified conditions/restrictions imposed by the Registrar are not satisfied within the prescribed time, then the application may be rejected.
If the Registrar refuses the registration, the applicant may apply within 75 days for judicial review of the decision under article 146 of the Constitution to the Supreme Court of Cyprus.
When the Registrar of Trade Marks accepts the application, whether absolutely or subject to conditions, the mark will registered and its registration will be advertised in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus.
Any person may, within two months from the date of the advertisement of an application, give notice to the Registrar of opposition to the registration. The notice must be given in writing and in the prescribed manner and must include a statement of the grounds of opposition.
Decision on opposition
After the filing of the opposition, the Registrar sends a copy of the notice to the applicant who on receipt must file, in the prescribed manner, a counter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application. If he does not do so, he will be deemed to have abandoned his application. If the applicant files a counter-statement, the Registrar must furnish a copy to the person/s giving notice of opposition and, after hearing the parties and considering the evidence, must decide.
Action by the Registrar
The Registrar of Trade Marks may accept, object or impose conditions and/or restrictions.
The fees should be paid at the time of the filing of the application.
If the notified conditions imposed by the Registrar are not satisfied within the prescribed time, the application may be rejected.