Trademark Search in Malta

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Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a time frame for filing for a trademark registration?

The average time frame for trademark registration is 12 months.

If I register my trademark in Malta, do I have protection in other territories?

Registered trademarks in Malta are protected in Malta, Comino and Gozo.

Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

Yes. Applicants must sign a Power of Attorney to complete the process.

Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

Yes. Pre-filing use of a trademark provides the following benefits:

  • Demonstrate mark’s acquired distinctiveness
  • Overcome opposition based on non-distinctiveness
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes. A registered trademark may be revoked on the ground of non-use.

What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Malta?

The following marks are registrable in Malta:

  • Words
  • Slogans
  • Names
  • Devices
  • Shapes with 3 dimensions
  • Collective marks
  • Service marks
  • Notorious marks
  • Certification marks
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Malta?

The trademark application goes through three phases namely examination, registration and publication. During the examination stage, the application is accepted or rejected according to its compliance with the requirements. Once the mark is registered, all details will be posted online through Trademark Office publication.

What type of trademark is not registrable?

The following marks are not registrable:

  • Generic words/terms
  • Marks that contradict standards of moral or public order
  • Marks that include name/flag/symbol of state/region/nation/international organization
  • Marks that lack distinctive qualities
  • Geographical names
Does Malta use the "Nice Classification" system?

The jurisdiction of Malta uses the system of Nice Classification.

Does the Community Trademark apply for Malta?

Yes. The Community Trademark takes effect in Malta.

Is there any possibility to claim priority in Malta?

Yes. It’s possible to claim priority if:

  • The home country of the applicant is a signatory of the Paris Convention
  • The date of home application is within 6 months earlier than the application date in Malta
What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

Registered trademarks must be used within 5 years from the date of publication. Use must be for a commercial purpose and must take place within the territories of Malta.

Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

The registered trademark is valid for 10 years.

What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date the application was filed. Note that trademarks registered before January 1, 2001 must be renewed 14 years from the filing of application date.

Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Unregistered marks can be legally used for goods and services.

How many applications should I file?

The answer to this question depends on the characteristics of your mark, your budget and the scope of protection that you would like to have in Malta.

If your trademark contains distinctive verbal elements (text) as well as design elements (graphics or logos) and you wish both to be protected, our recommendation is to file two trademark applications; one to protect just the verbal elements (the application will be filed as “Word Mark”) and another to protect just the design elements (the application will be filed as “Combined Mark”).

In this case, proceeding with two trademark applications has the following advantages:

  1. Broader and stronger protection. If a third party files a “Combined Mark” with very similar text to yours but different design, their “Combined Mark” could be accepted for registration if you only filed a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” because in its entirety the third party’s mark is still considered different from yours.
  2. You will be protected if your logo evolves. It is common for companies to change the design of their logo with time. If you file a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” your new logo will not be protected. You must use your trademark exactly as registered; if you don’t, your trademark may be subject to cancellation.
  3. Effective verbal and graphics protection. Filing a “Word Mark” application provides greater flexibility to use your mark in different ways, whether it is presenting it in stylized text or presenting it with different designs (as long as they are not too similar to registered trademarks that belong to third parties). At the same time, filing a “Combined Mark” allows you to protect the design elements of your mark.

If your trademark also contains a slogan or a distinctive design symbol, we suggest you file a specific application for each, as this will give you additional protection.

Does having a registered trademark in Malta give me any right?

The “first to use” rule applies in Malta. Registration is not necessary in order to obtain trademark rights.

What is the web address of the trademark national office?

Visit this link to access Malta’s trademark national office: http://www.commerce.gov.mt/

Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Yes. Intent to use or actual use of mark is required for registration.

Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Opposition is not possible.

Who can contest my trademark application?

Nobody can contest a trademark application.

Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. A trademark’s registration may be cancelled on the following grounds:

  • Violation of proprietary rights
  • Breach of copyright
  • Violation of rights in a design
  • Violation of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention, Article 6ter of the Paris Convention, Article 6septies of the Paris Convention, Article 8 of the Paris Convention
  • Mark is generic, functional, descriptive, deceptive or misleading
  • Violation of public order or against moral standards
  • Unsatisfied use requirements based on Section VIII.A.
  • Inclusion of geographical indication
Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Registration of trademark helps the owner obtain the following rights:

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to oppose conflicting later applications
  • Right to request a cancellation against conflicting later registrations
  • Right to take legal actions against infringing parties
  • Right to obtain financial compensation from infringing parties
  • Right to license third parties to use the mark
  • Right to request for seizure of counterfeit goods
How long is the opposition period?

There is no provision for opposition.

Is Malta a member of the Madrid System?

Malta is not a signatory of the Madrid System.

Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Periodic statements of use, declaration of use and other similar filings are not a requirement.

When should I renew my trademark?

Renewals are done 10 years or 14 years from the date of filing of application. See note above.

What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date the application was filed. Note that trademarks registered before January 1, 2001 must be renewed 14 years from the filing of application date.

Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

The following documents are required for renewal:

  • Proprietor’s name and address
  • Renewal due date
  • Trademark number
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

There is a 6-month grace period given for expired trademarks.

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