FAQ

I have an idea. How can I protect it?

Contact us. Then, we can together determine if the idea should be protected, and, if so, how.

I have an idea, but I don’t know if I should patent it or apply for a design protection?

Patents are used to protect technical solutions, and do not protect the design as such. Designs, on the other hand, are not concerned about technical functions, but protect only the design. Therefore, it depends upon if the idea is primarily of a technical nature, of if it for example is a novel design of a product which is already known. In many cases, design protection is also an inexpensive way to supplement a patent protection.

Can I disclose my design before I apply for a design protection?

The best thing is to file a design application before the design is shown to third parties, but under certain circumstances it is possible to obtain a design protection for an already disclsed design.

Can I apply for a design protection myself?

Yes, in some cases. However, by appointing a professional representative you will substantially increase your chances of obtaining a good design protection in countries where protection is wanted. An experienced representative knows what it takes to accomplish this.

Do I have to apply for a design protection in all countries at the same time?

No, you may start with one application, and then file applications in other countries within six months. The first application may, for instance, be a Swedish application or a EU application.

Is a Swedish design application also valid in other countries?

No. It is only valid in Sweden.

What is protected by a registered design?

A design registration protects the aesthetic appearance of the protected article. A technical function, however, is not protected. Technical solutions are protected using patents.

Do I have to have a registered company to apply for a trademark?

No.

Who can apply for trademark protection?

Juridical and natural persons.

Is it necessary to apply for trademark registration if the same name is already registered as a company name?

No, this is not mandatory. However, it is important to note that a company name does not substitute a trademark registration, and that the trademark registration often offers a broader protection.

For how long is the trademark registration valid?

The term is ten years. Thereafter, the registration can be renewed again and again, indefinitely, for one ten year period at a time.

Can I apply for a trademark registration covering the whole of EU?

Yes. It is possible to file a so called Community trademark application.

Is a Swedish trademark valid outside Sweden?

No. It is only valid in Sweden.

Does a Community Trademark offer the same scope of protection in Sweden as a Swedish trademark?

Yes. A Community Trademark can, however, be more vulnerable than a Swedish registration.

Can a Community Trademark application be filed only for certain countries?

No.

Do trademarks have any requirement of use?

Yes, if it is not used within five years from the registration date it is vulnerable to cancellation for all goods and services for which the trademark has not been used.

Is there a novelty requirement for trademarks?

No, but a trademark must not conflict with an existing right.

Is it possible to find out if a trademark is available for registration?

We can offer a so called identity search, in order to find out if an identical trademark is already registered in countries of interest. We can also recommend a similarity search, for finding out if the suggested trademark is in conflict with existing rights.

Is there an annual fee to be paid for trademarks?

No, there is not. However, a charge must be paid every ten years, when renewing the trademark.

Is it possible to apply for a trademark registration covering the whole world?

There are a number of ways to obtain trademark protection in several countries. For example, the so called Madrid protocol makes it possible to apply for trademark registration as an International series covering many countries. One may also apply for national registration in every respective country, or use one of a number of community systems which are available, such as the European Community Trademark and OAPI (Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle).

Does the existence of the trademark registration stop others from trying to register the same trademark?

No, not automatically. As a consequence, we always recommend to set up a tailored trademark watching service in order to be able to promptly take action if someone else is trying to register an identical or a similar trademark. Even though the Swedish Patent and Registration Office have the possibility to reject an application, it is still possible to file for a similar or an identical trademark for someone else through the European trademark authority (OHIM), since they do not examine and refuse later applications on their own volition.

Can I apply for a patent myself?

In some cases. But it is advisable to appoint a professional representative. What patent protection that is obtained depends on how the patent claims are formulated, and sufficient support for these must be present in the description. No new technical subject-matter must be added after filing, and it is therefore often difficult to repair an application which is deficient to start with. For this reason, it is suitable to appoint a representative in the form of an experienced patent attorney for drafting the application from scratch. Moreover, a patent attorney can help in positioning the requested patent protection within the larger intellectual property strategy in a balanced and cost-efficient manner.

In what ways does a patent attorney add value?

A patent attorney can advice about suitable protective strategies based upon the actual situation of the client. In case the client wishes to protect a certain technology, the attorney drafts an entire patent application after having received sufficient instructions from the inventor. After filing, the attorney takes care of all correspondence with patent offices and especially selected attorneys across the world in accordance with the wishes of the client.

When can I start talking about / showing my invention?

As soon as a patent application describing the invention has been filed, the technology can be disclosed to third parties. However, it may be wise to use a non-disclosure agreement.

Should I wait until I receive a granted patent in Sweden before applying in other countries?


No. In order to be able to use the so called priority right, patent protection should be applied for in other countries within 12 months from the date of filing of the first patent application regarding a certain invention. In case the first application was filed in Sweden, no Swedish patent has typically been granted yet at the expiry of the 12 month period. By way of exception, protection may be requested abroad prior to the publication of the first application, which takes place about 18 months after filing. This requires that the contents of the application have not previously been disclosed in some other way.

Can I apply for a EU patent?

Yes, you can apply for a European patent, covering the whole of EU and a number of other states, such as Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. A European patent results, after grant, in either a bundle of national patent rights valid in European countries as selected by the applicant, or in a patent with unitary effect in almost all EU member states.

Can I apply for a worldwide patent?

No, there is no such thing as a ”world patent”. In principle, all patent rights are national, even if there are a number of shortcuts to facilitate the application procedure. One example is a so called international application, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). However, in order to result in one or several granted patents, a PCT application must enter the respective national phase in all countries in which protection is desired within about 30 months from the first filing date. Thereafter, these national applications have to be prosecuted in a way which is similar to that for a regular national application before each respective national patent office. This way, costs and administration are delayed. Importantly, the final decision of protection countries is also delayed. Furthermore, it is possible to save on costs if the novelty search for the PCT application shows that the invention is essentially already known. In that case, the costly national applications can be avoided altogether. There is also a European patent with unitary effect in almost all EU member states.

Is a Swedish patent valid in the whole world?

No, it is only valid in Sweden. All patent rights are, as a rule, national.

Is a Swedish registered design valid in other countries than Sweden?

No. It is only valid in Sweden.

Can I apply for a design registration covering the whole of EU?

Yes. It is possible to apply for a so called Registered Community Design, covering all EU member states.