State registration of trademarks and/or brands in the Republic of Armenia
Trademark, brand symbol and/or service mark (hereinafter – mark) is a designation that is used to distinguish goods and/or services of one person from the goods and/or other services. In connection with the development of business and competition in the RA, as well as, the appearance on the RA market of new businesses, the protection of exclusive rights to the trademarks from infringement by third parties is quite urgent. To protect one’s business mark it is essential to register it with the state registration of trademarks in the RA. This function is carried out by The Agency of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Armenia. It should be noted that the exclusive rights to the trademark arise only after the state registration, recognition, when the mark is well known in the RA, or when the mark is internationally registered and recognized.
The validity of a trademark registration is ten years, from the year of the application for trademark registration in the Republic of Armenia. This period may be extended for further ten years prior to each expiration. An application for renewal may be submitted during the last year of the term of the registration plate, and within six months after the expiry date with the payment of an additional late registration fee.
The claim itself is made in the Armenian language. The accompanying documents may be submitted in other languages, with the obligatory presence of translation into Armenian language (foreign applicants may submit it within 2 months). The application should contain the identity of the applicant and his representative (if any), a clear display/reproduction of the claimed image, as well as, the musical note(s) of a trademark designation (for sound trademark), and description. Where appropriate please include a note explaining when the symbol is three-dimensional, holographic, acoustic or combined trademark.
One must specify the exact transliteration of foreign words or symbols in Armenian language translation. Please note that the application for registration of a trademark in the RA can be made for both goods and services of one class, or several classes. If the mark is registered for more than one class, payment of an additional stamp duty per additional class is required.
Depending on the registered mark, the application may include an attached receipt confirming payment of the state duty for the submission of the application and examination. In some cases, a list of attached documents may vary. The list usually includes:
- The power of attorney, if the trademark is registered through a representative;
- An application for trademark priority;
- Permission for registration of a trademark if, in accordance with the law trademark reproduces or contains state emblems, flags, or symbols, official names of States or their abbreviations, full or abbreviated names of international and intergovernmental organizations, official symbols, official controlled marks, guarantee and proofs, printing, awards, and reproduces characters or symbols that are not protected by Article 6 of the Paris Convention, but are of particular public interest;
- The consent of the rights holder, if the trademark reproduces previously registered in the RA intellectual property, or reproduces or includes the name, surname of a famous person or the image thereof;
- The regulations of the collective mark;
- Regulations on using a certified mark.
The procedure for registration of exclusive rights to the trademark in the Republic of Armenia
In order to initiate the procedure of registration of the trademark in The Agency of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Armenia, one should submit a request in writing or electronically. This can be made by the company directly through its executive body, an individual under whom the trademark is registered, any other person authorized by them via notary service.
Please note that a single application shall contain a request for registration of only one trademark. Individuals who do not have permanent residence in the RA and foreign companies that do not have existing commercial or industrial establishments may file the application and conduct all business on the registration of the mark through their agencies or other representatives verified by notary.
Within a month of receiving the application (s) the agency registers it and carries a preliminary examination of the trademark by checking its content to meet the above mentioned requirements of the legislation. If these requirements are violated, then The Agency for Intellectual Property shall notify the applicant of the need to correct the imbalances within a two month period. In the event of a successful outcome, or post correction of inconsistencies, the agency shall publish the application as filed including the substantive examination. The applicant will be notified within five calendar days. Should the inconsistencies remain unaddressed, then the agency shall consider the application as withdrawn and in the same period will notify the applicant.
The announcement is published in the official gazette “Industrial Property” within a month after the decision of the publication, and within two months after publication of the application. Any interested person may submit his objection to the registration of the trademark application. The substantive examination is carried out within three months. If there are objections from a third party the review period is suspended.
Should the application be deemed legally compliant, The Intellectual Property Agency of the RA shall decide on the registration of the trademark rights in the Republic of Armenia. If, however, there are absolute or relative grounds for refusal of registration in respect of all goods and services, the decision on refusal of state registration of rights to the trademark is given. If the grounds for refusal are related to part(s) of the goods or services, the registration is carried out partly. You may find the list of absolute and relative grounds for refusal in this article. After receipt of the decision to refuse the registration of a trademark, the applicant may submit an application for re-examination within two months, if the applicant can prove its validity.
After the decision on registration, the agency within ten days will notify the applicant of the need to pay the state duty within three month period and provide a receipt of payment. In case of default on this obligation, the application shall be deemed withdrawn. As soon as The Intellectual Property Agency of the RA receives a receipt for payment of registration fee, it shall register the trademark in the RA under the next available number in the register of trademarks in the course of one month.
As a result of this, the trademark will be registered and within one month after the registration in the register, information on this will be published in “Industrial Property” gazette. Furthermore in a period of one month after the publication of information about the trademark in the official publication “Industrial Property”, rights holder(s) or his/her authorized representative shall be issued a certificate of trademark registration in the Republic of Armenia.