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National Trademark

Protection in Austria for your trademark.

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The Trademark

A trademark may consist of any signs, in particular words, including personal names, or designs, letters, numerals, colours, the shape of goods or of the packaging of goods, or sounds, provided that such signs are capable of giving distinctiveness to the goods or services of one company companed to those of ohter companies and are represented on the register in a manner which enables the compentent authorities and the publick to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor.

Who may apply – Legal Representation?

Anyone may file an application, regardless of whether they are an individual person or legal entity (company).

Permanent address/registered officeIs a representative required?
AustriaNo (You are, however, entitled to have a representative. If the representative you choose is not a professional representative such as a patent law firm, law firm or notary’s office, you must present a written power of attorney.)
EEA/SwitzerlandNo (an authorised recipient in Austria is sufficient)
Outside the EEA/SwitzerlandYes (patent law firm, law firm or notary’s office)

The Trademark Examination Procedure

In general, this procedure can be subdivided into two phases:

  1. Formal Examination
  2. Examination of Legality

The average duration of these proceedings is 2 to 3 months (Fast Track applications approx. 10 days).Any exchange of correspondence, however, will prolong this period of time.

Subsequent to your application on paper you receive from us a confirmation of receipt which includes your application’s reference number and a request for payment of fees (Fees MA 211). In order to speed up the procedure, please pay these fees as quickly as possible otherwise the examination procedure will not commence until one month has elapsed and another request for payment of fees is issued.

There is no special confirmation of receipt or request for payment of fees where online applications are concerned as the system’s dispatching process will automatically generate these in printable form. You can gather the reference number of your online application from the printouts and use it for immediate fee payment.

In cases of online applications no separate confirmation of receipt is transmitted as the system automatically generates such receipt confirmations which may subsequently be printed out. The fee statement of an automatically generated receipt confirmation is concomitantly a request for payment. Payment is possible in the course of application proceedings and is, in fact, a prerequisite when filing Fast Track-applications. Also included in the print-out is the file number of your online application.

Formal Examination

To begin with formal aspects of the application such as trademark images, list of goods/list of services, power of attorney etc. are vetted. Should there be any shortcomings you receive from us a notification to remedy these.

Examination of Legality

The examination of legality comprises an investigation of whether the trademark is capable of being protected and a search for registration obstacles (e.g. lack of distinctiveness of the trademark, a solely descriptive statement of the trademark etc.). The most significant of these registration obstacles are contained in § 4 MSchG. Should there be any such obstacles you will be notified by us and are entitled to express your opinion respecting these objections within a certain prescribed period. If there is no response on your part or should you be unable to submit arguments capable of overriding the official objections we will have to reject your application. You are entitled to lodge an appeal against such an unfavorable decision before the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien) and subsequently the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof).

Should the trademark applied for fulfill all registration requirements it will receive a consecutive registration number with which it is entered in the trademark register. You in turn receive from us a confirmation of registration. Additionally, your registered trademark is published in the Austrian Trademark Gazette, issued on the 20th of each month.

Subsequent to registration of the trademark the sign ® may be used in trade. This serves as a note that this is a Registered Trademark. The owner of such a trademark has an obligation of disclosure to third parties.

ATTENTION: The Austrian Patent Office does NOT decide in the application procedure whether identical or confusingly similar earlier trademarks exist. 

Owners of an earlier, identical or confusingly similar trademark registered for comparable goods or services could take action against your trademark if they feel that their property rights have been affected by your new registration. They can file an opposition or a request for cancellation at the Austrian Patent Office and file a civil action before the HG Wien (e.g. for injunction, damages, etc.) In many cases, however, the owner of confusable trademarks find ways to coexist, conclude delimination agreements or license agreements, etc. 

Please visit our website www.patentamt.at/marken/recherchen for information on the possibilities of obtaining information on identical or possibly similar trademarks BEFORE filing an application. There you will also find further information about our two quick services "Trademark Similarity Search" and Pre Check Marke", which provide additional information beyond a mere trademark similarity comparison. 

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