It is very important to have a good trademark from the beginning. A strong trademark will enable you to clearly distinguish your products from your competitors’ products.
Your trademark forms a link between your company and your potential clients or investors. All the investments in marketing and PR are connected to it and, consequently, your trademark ensures the quality of your products or services.
An adequate protection of your brand name will grant you exclusive rights within your sector.
The stronger the trademark, the more extensive your protection.
KOB will assist you with legal expertise, during the registration procedure and after the registration of your trademarks. We will help you in choosing a proper brand name, determine the best registration strategy, monitor your trademarks and defend your rights in case of infringement.
The law defines a trademark as follows: “the names, drawings, prints, seals, letters, numerals, shapes of goods or packaging and all other signs that are capable of being represented graphically, serving to distinguish the goods and services of a company”.
For example a word, an image, a combination of word and image, a slogan, a combination of numbers, the shape of the packaging … may be registered as a trademark.
In order to acquire a trademark registration, the chosen trademark needs to have a distinctive character. The registration of words that are used in everyday language, which directly refer to the products or services commercialized under the trademark, will be refused. The same goes for words or word combinations that describe a characteristic, the origin or the target audience.
Such words may, however, if combined with a distinctive logo, be registered as a trademark.
Please note that, once you have chosen a brand name or a commercial name, it is advisable to have KOB verify whether this name is still available within your particular sector. This will prevent you from investing in a trademark that has already been registered by someone else.
In most countries, the use of a trademark does not grant any rights. Only by officially registering your trademark, exclusivity will be obtained and you will be able to act against those who infringe your trademark.
That is why it is advisable to have your trademark or logo registered as soon as possible. On these grounds, you will be able to take action against those who make use of your trademark or a similar trademark for identical or similar products or services. Infringement occurs as soon as there is a risk of confusion.
The countries in which you use or will use the trademark, determine the strategy and the procedure to register your brand name. There are several procedures. KOB will assist you in determining the best strategy, tailored to your company.
Benelux trademark – in case you only wish to use your trademark in Belgium or in the Benelux, you can apply for a Benelux registration (A registration limited to the Belgian territory does not exist);
Union trademark – in case you wish to use your trademark in various European countries, you can obtain protection in all the member states of the European Union, by filing a Community trademark application;
International trademark – in case you wish to use your trademark in various countries around the world, you can have the registration of your Benelux or EU trademark registration extended to approximately 90 countries;
National trademark – a trademark can be registered by means of a national procedure in any country that has a trademark law.
In most countries a trademark registration is valid for 10 years and can be unlimitedly renewed.
If you have a monitoring subscription, we can notify you on time of any trademark applications that might infringe on your registered trademarks. By reacting in a timely manner, legal action and the accompanying excessive costs can often be prevented.
KOB provides expert advice and assists you in handling each infringement. Our experienced legal experts can represent you in any infringement procedure before the official trademark offices (oppositions and nullity actions).
Your trademark registration is a property title, which can be transferred or which can be licensed. KOB can also assist you in this respect. We draw up the necessary agreements and make sure that the transfer or the licence is registered with the official authorities.
Since 1981 KOB has ensured the adequate protection of your intellectual property against counterfeiting in Belgium and abroad.
Our team includes experienced engineers and legal experts who undertake ongoing further training and who are officially recognised on a Belgian, Benelux and European level so that your invention, trademark or design is in safe hands.
President Kennedypark 31C
Tel. +32 (56) 21 35 38