Trademark Study in Belgium
In order to proceed with Trademark Study in Belgium please fill out the following form. You'll have to provide information about the Trademark, the Administrative contact and the Owner.
Why might this be relevant for you?
If you filed your trademark in another jurisdiction within the last 6 months, you may be entitled to claim what’s called the “priority” of this of your first filing. This means that your trademark application is treated as having been received by the trademark office at the date of the filing you claimed priority of.
Why does such a strange thing exist?
The concept of priority dates back to a time where there was no Internet, fax machines, and no widespread use of telecommunications for legal matters. But it is still carried on until this date. Before the time of an interconnected business world, applications of patents and trademarks have to laboriously be prepared and transported in the form of paper and filed at the local trademark offices, which would allow people to “game the system” by just being faster. Therefore, the concept of priority allows somebody to just lock in the date when they came up with their decision to register and then take up to 6 months to prepare the necessary paperwork in all the remaining countries they want their rights to be registered.
So when will that be relevant?
Well, only if there’s a competing application that was filed after the application you claimed priority of. In general, it is advantageous to have an earlier priority date rather than a later one. The basic concept of examining an application is the one of “first filing basis.”
As every trademark application is made public, you always have theoretically the risk that somebody was made aware of your application and tries to file the exact same brand with a different jurisdiction. If you want to prevent this from happening, claiming priority is always a good idea.
Important Rules for Claiming a Priority:
Your claimed priority cannot be older than 6 months – and there’s no excuse for being late. (So “Dog ate the homework”, “I was sick”, “There is Covid”, etc. does not count. It is a rock hard dealing prescribed by the Paris Convention of 1883.)
Also, the trademark itself as well as all classes in goods and services have to be identical to the filing you claim priority of. (You can claim less than what was originally filed, but not more, and not different goods or services)
You are also obligated to prove the priority claim by submitting the Certified True Copy of the First Application. For that, we usually have time – at the 1BOIP, it is 6 months.
1 Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
TYPES OF TRADEMARKS
Word Mark: one trademark, which contains only verbal elements (words, letters, numbers or any character).
Logo (design only): one trademark, which contains only design elements (images, graphics, colors).
Combined Mark: one trademark, which contains verbal elements as well as design elements (including stylized text).