What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign to distinguish a product or a service from the products or services of another manufacturer, supplier, or provider on a market. A trademark gives the owner of the trademark the right to exclude others from unlawfully using his trademark. The function of trademarks is to give consumers orientation among the variety of products and services that are offered. This minimizes their transaction costs, i.e. the costs to search and to obtain information about the quality of a service or product. A consumer who has gained good experience with a trademark will tend to buy similar products or services that are labelled with the same sign.

A trade mark is the most efficient legal instrument to protect your brand. The value of a well-known trademark will exeed often the value of the other intellectual property assets such as patents and design rights.

How to register a trademark in Monaco?

Trademark protection in Monaco is obtained by registration. In the event a mark has become well-known it can also be acquired by use. However, a non-registered mark cannot be used to cancel a trademark that has been registered later by a third party.

Trademarks are registered at the Monaco Patent and Trademark office and can be renewed every ten years. Monaco is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid protocol.

In order to apply for a trademark you do not have to be resident in Monaco. As trademarks can be filed only in person foreign trade mark applicants usually need a local representative to whom they have to give a Power of Attorney.

The power of attorney neither requires legalisation nor notarisation.

The Monaco Patent and Trademark Office does not accept any applications or renewals by fax or mail.

Examination of the Trademark Application

The Monaco Patent and Trademark Office will examine the application to establish that it complies with the formal requirements and other basic legal requirements, such as distinctiveness There is no examination if the trademark application is in conflict with a trademark filed or registerd at an earlier date. We therefore recommend a search in the official register and in the register of names of firms prior to the application.

The Monaco Trademark Law does not provide for opposition. A conflict of trademarks with older trademarks or company names is only checked in the event of a law suit at the civil court in Monaco. Once the examination for distinctiveness and other formal requirements has been completed, the trademark will be registered. This is normally six to twelve weeks after the filing date. You will receive one trademark certificate.

Publication of the registered Trademark

Trademarks are published in the quarterly official journal approximately three to six months after the filing date. There is no additional registration/publishing fee.