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Register a Trademark in Malta

Register a Trademark in Malta

According to the Maltese legislation on intellectual property, a trademark represents a graphic sign that is used to distinguish the goods or services provided by a company from goods or services offered by other companies. Trademarks in Malta can be made of letters, numbers, words, colors, signs or any combination between these. The trademark is used for marketing purposes by companies and that is why our law firm in Malta can help clients with the trademark registration procedure.

 Quick Facts  
Trademark registration definition   Registering a trademark in Malta provides exclusive rights to use and protect a particular brand name, logo, or symbol.

 Intellectual property office (IPO)

Trademark registration in Malta is administered by the Malta Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate. 

Search for existing trademarks 

Our lawyers conduct a thorough search of the Malta trademark database to ensure your proposed trademark is not already registered. 

 Trademark classes and classification  We also determine the appropriate trademark classes and classifications that correspond to the goods or services you wish to protect.
 Application form and requirements

 Complete the trademark application form provided by the IPO and provide all necessary details.

 Representation by our trademark agent

 While not mandatory, hiring our trademark agent or attorney can ensure accurate and efficient completion of the registration process.

 Filing the trademark application

Submit the completed application form, along with the required fees, to the IPO either online or in person. 

 Examination and publication

 The IPO examines the trademark application for compliance with legal requirements. If approved, the trademark is published for opposition.

 Opposition period

 During the opposition period, third parties can raise objections to the trademark registration. Opposition period is 90 days.

 Registration and certificate  If there are no successful oppositions or objections, and the IPO is satisfied, the trademark will be registered and a certificate will be issued.
 Trademark duration and renewal

 Trademark registration in Malta is valid for ten years from the filing date and can be renewed indefinitely for successive ten-year periods.

 Trademark use and enforcement

 To maintain the validity of the trademark, it must be used in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered.

 International trademark protection (Madrid System)

 Malta is a member of the Madrid System, allowing trademark owners to extend their protection to other member countries through a single application.

Trademark watch services 

Consider using our trademark watch services to monitor and protect your registered trademark from potential infringements. 

 Professional legal advice  Seeking professional legal advice from our trademark attorney can help navigate the complexities of trademark registration in Malta.

Required documents for trademark registration in Malta

Trademark registration in Malta consists in filing all the required documentation with the comptroller. The documents to be submitted are:

  • a prescribed application form for trademark registration,
  • name and address of the applicant,
  • a declaration containing the products or services the trademark will represent,
  • a drawing of the trademark,
  • a statement of priority, if the trademark was previously used,
  • a statement that the trademark will be used by the applicant or by third parties with his consent,
  • a statement with the description of the trademark that will contain the color/colors used as distinctive characteristics, if necessary,
  • proof of paying of the application fee.

Once the documents are verified and there are no reasons for refusal, the Comptroller of Industrial Property will publish the registration and the applicant will receive a registration certificate. A trademark has ten-year validity and it can be renewed every ten years.

Clients are advised to consider that, according to the Trademarks Act, multi-class application for trademark registration is not allowed in Malta, therefore distinct applications must be submitted for each class of goods and services, according to the Nice Classification. 

This classification divides goods and services into 45 classes. The first 34 classes are designated for goods, while the remaining 11 classes are for services. Each class represents a distinct category of goods or services. This classification system provides a standardized framework for trademark offices around the world to classify and search for trademarks based on the specific goods or services they cover. It is important to study which class suits your business operations in order to continue the trademark registration in Malta. 

Our Maltese lawyers can assist clients with the trademark registration procedures through a power of attorney.

Types of trademarks in Malta

One of the first key steps in trademark registration in Malta is determining which type of trademark suits your business identity and needs. You can choose from these options:

  • Word Mark – a mark that consists solely of words, letters, numbers, or standard typed characters. This is a popular choice for many businesses, including HORECA;
  • Figurative Mark – represented by non-standard characters, images, or graphic features without any text;
  • Figurative with Words Mark – this mark includes both text and pictures, graphics, or images with words or letters;
  • 3D Mark – as its name suggests, this is a three-dimensional mark represented by a three-dimensional shape;
  • Pattern Mark – a mark with a set of elements that are regularly repeated;
  • Sound Mark – it exclusively consists of a sound or a combination of sounds.

In addition to these options, you can also register a trademark in Malta as a collective mark or a certification mark.

The collective mark distinguishes the goods or services of members of an association from those of other associations. Different people can use collective marks as long as they are members of the association that registered the mark. 

The certification mark is usually granted to products that meet specific standards. Anyone who can certify that his/her products meet those standards can use the certification mark.

After deciding from these types of marks which one fits your preferences the best, you can contact our lawyers in Malta to continue the trademark registration. 

International trademarks

You can register your trademark on both national and international levels. Our law firm in Malta can assist you in this process. 

A European Union Trademark (EUTM) is a trademark that is either in the process of being registered or has already been registered in the entire European Union, rather than in individual countries within the EU. The rules and regulations governing EUTMs are outlined in the European Parliament and Council’s Regulation (EU) 2017/1001, updated with (EU) 2018/625 and (EU) 2018/626 in the year 2018.

If you want to register a Maltese trademark in the European Union, you need to file the application with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which is the governing body responsible for trademark registration in the EU.

Note that Malta is not a contracting party of the Madrid Protocol, the international treaty that allows for the registration and management of trademarks across multiple countries. If you want to register your Maltese trademark in other countries outside the European Union, we advise contacting our lawyers in Malta, since the process can be more complicated. 

Reasons to refuse trademark registration in Malta

Companies or individuals applying for trademark registration in Malta must pay attention to the following reasons the registration can be denied:

  • the trademark has no distinctive feature,
  • the trademark is made up of signs used by other companies,
  • the trademark is made up a commonly used signs and can create confusion.

Trademark registration can also be denied if the sign employed contravenes public morality or if it is defamatory. Article 5 in the Trademarks Act also provides for several signs and characteristics prohibited from being used when registering a trademark in Malta.

What rights has the owner of a registered trademark in Malta?

registered trademark offers exclusivity to its owner. According to the Maltese laws, registered trademark infringement happens if a similar or identical sign is used to represent similar goods or services, or if a similar or identical sign to the registered trademark is used to represent other goods or services and its use causes damage to the renowned Maltese trademark.

Finally, here are some statistics about the registration of trademarks in Malta:

  • In 2019, the total number of trademark applications in Malta was 731;
  • In 2020, the number decreased to 362 applications; 
  • Malta had over 75,000 trademark filings made abroad in 2021.

You can contact our Maltese law firm for any questions regarding trademark registration. We also offer services regarding purchasing properties in Malta, if you are interested.