6 April, 2024

How to register a store name in Ukraine?

Insights
8 minutes

The name of your store is more than just a sign. It is a key element of your intellectual property and the way customers remember you. In Ukraine, the best way to protect this valuable asset is to register your store name as a trademark. This process gives you exclusive rights to use the store name and helps you to:

  • Strengthen customer confidence.
  • Prevent unfair competition from those who may try to use your reputation.
  • Avoid potential litigation due to the illegal use of the name by competitors.

What is a trademark?

A trademark (or trade mark) is a recognisable sign, design or expression that identifies the goods or services of a particular manufacturer or seller, distinguishing them from competitors.

The legislation of Ukraine recognises the following types of trademarks:

  • Words and names: the name of your store, brands of individual product lines.
  • Logos: symbols, images associated with your business.
  • Slogan: a short, catchy phrase used to promote a business and build awareness.
  • Sound Signs: melodies, jingles, sounds that are easy to remember and relate to your business.
  • Colour combinations: specific colour combinations that can become part of your visual identity
  • Combined characters: a combination of several of the above elements to create a unique image.

Advantages of trademark registration

In Ukraine trade mark registration brings a number of significant benefits to the store and its owner:

  1. Exclusive right to use: Only you are entitled to use the registered trademark to identify your goods and services in the classes specified in the registration.
  2. Regulatory remedies: The ability to take legal action against those who use your trademark (or a similar one that is likely to mislead customers) without permission. This applies not only to direct competitors, but also to representatives of other business areas if they violate your rights.
  3. Increase customer confidence: The ® mark associated with your store name demonstrates to customers that you are serious, professional and helps build trust.
  4. Intangible asset: A registered trademark significantly increases the overall value of your business. It can be used as collateral, licensed or even sold in the future.
  5. Marketing Advantage: A strong, protected brand makes it easier to stand out in the market, win new customers and retain loyal customers.

Not every mark or name is suitable for registration. The State Register will not accept your application if the trademark is not valid:

  • Insufficiently distinctive: Too general, descriptive words or terms are usually not suitable for the role of a trade mark. For example, it will be difficult to register “Shoe Store” for a shoe store.
  • Misleading: A trademark should not contain false information or mislead the consumer about the quality of products or geographical origin.
  • Similar to an existing one: Before applying, it is worth conducting a thorough check of the trademark register to make sure that your mark or name does not infringe on the rights of other businesses.

In the next section, we will discuss how to properly conduct a trademark verification to avoid the risk of refusal of registration.

How do I check the availability of a brand?

Checking your trademark, name or logo before filing a trademark application is an extremely important step. It provides several significant advantages.

Firstly, it will allow to avoid refusal of registration, which occurs if the chosen mark is too similar to an already registered trademark.

Secondly,a competent check will help save time and money, as the registration process can be costly, and it would be a shame to go through it only to be refused. Finally, a preliminary check reduces the risk of legal disputes in the future, as the use of a trade mark already owned by another business may carry the risk of lawsuits.

In Ukraine, there are several ways to check whether your chosen name, logo or other potential object is free to register as a trademark. The most accessible resource is the database of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation. On its website, you can search for already registered trademarks, as well as those that have been filed for registration, free of charge;

Another option is to contact lawyers or patent attorneys who specialise in intellectual property. They can conduct a more in-depth analysis to help you better assess the uniqueness of your mark. If your store is planning to enter foreign markets, international verification is also necessary – for example, through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) website.

Even if you are conducting the check yourself, you should pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Evaluate not only complete identity, but also similarity in sound and spelling.
  • Take into account the International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS) classes that were chosen when registering your previous trademarks. Even if the businesses are different, a conflict may arise if the classes relate to the same market area.
  • The scope of the search should be as broad as possible. Check whether the name/logo is registered in the form of a website or social media page. Even if such a business does not have a registered trademark, using a similar name can still create problems.

An independent preliminary check is a good first step. However, for the most reliable and accurate result, it is better to contact an intellectual property specialist before filing for registration.

The process of applying for trademark registration in Ukraine

Where in Ukraine is a trademark registered? Filing an application, passing examinations, and obtaining a certificate all take place through the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation. The registration process consists of the following main steps

  1. Preparation of the application: You need to collect the prescribed package of documents and fill in an official application. The application form can be obtained on the Ukrpatent website or from specialists providing services in the field of intellectual property registration.
  2. Filing an application and paying the state fee:the application is filed in person at Ukrpatent, by mail, or online through a special portal of the office. At this stage, state fees must be paid.
  3. Formal examination:Specialists of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations check the correctness of the application and the availability of all necessary documents.
  4. Qualification examination:At this stage, a detailed examination of the trademark is carried out in accordance with the protectability criteria. Experts assess the distinctiveness and uniqueness of your mark, the absence of reasons why it cannot be registered (descriptiveness, similarity to already filed or registered marks, etc.
  5. Decision-making and publication:If the trademark is found eligible for registration, the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations makes a decision on its approval and publishes information about it in a special bulletin.
  6. Certificate issuance:After paying the appropriate fee, you will receive a certificate of trademark registration, which confirms your exclusive rights to the mark.

In order to register a trademark in Ukraine, you will need to collect the following package of documents:

  • A completed application in the prescribed form.
  • Image of the trademark (if there are graphic elements).
  • Trademark description.
  • Documents confirming the payment of state duties.
  • A power of attorney (if you submit documents through a representative).

The standard application processing time is approximately 18-22 months. The amount of state fees is set by the state, and information on the current fees is available on the website of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations;

How much does it cost to register a trademark? It is worth noting that the total cost of trademark registration may vary depending on the number of classes of goods/services for which you apply, the complexity of the procedure itself and whether you involve an intellectual property lawyer in the process.

The process of registering a trademark can be quite complex, especially if you encounter difficulties or controversies during the examination. In order to prepare a competent application and ensure maximum protection of your rights, it is highly advisable to contact an intellectual property lawyer.

Conclusion.

Registering a trade mark is not just a formality, but a strategic move with long-term benefits. It not only grants exclusive rights to the store name, but also protects against unfair competition, increases customer confidence, and turns your brand into a valuable asset. Although the process may seem complicated, contacting intellectual property lawyers will help you avoid potential difficulties. Remember, trademark registration is a long-term investment in the success and stability of your business.

Consult with the specialists of Polikarpov Law Firm to learn more about trademark registration and get qualified support and legal assistance and legal services.

What documents do I need to register a store name?

To register a store name as a trademark in Ukraine, you will need the following documents:

  1. Application for trademark registration: This document contains basic information regarding:
    • Applicant (trademark owner: Full name (for an individual)/name and address (for a legal entity))
    • Image of the trademark (if it has graphic or combined elements).
    • A list of goods and services for which the trademark will be used (in accordance with the International Classification of Goods and Services – ICGS).
  2. Power of attorney (if the application is submitted by a representative).
  3. A document confirming the payment of fees: the fee for filing an application and conducting an examination is paid separately.

Important notes:

  • The application is filed directly with the Ukrainian Institute of Intellectual Property or through a trusted patent attorney.
  • Before starting the registration process, it is advisable to conduct a search for existing trademarks to avoid similarities.
  • If you wish, you can include additional documents such as an explanation of the symbolism of the mark, etc.

The registration process involves several expert reviews:

  • Formal examination:the completeness of documents, the correctness of their filling, and payment of basic fees are assessed.
  • Qualification examination:Experts evaluate the trademark for compliance with the legislation on the protection of intellectual property rights (availability of distinctiveness, absence of misleading the consumer, etc.

If all stages are successfully completed, the trademark is registered and a certificate is issued.

To clarify specific nuances, you should always contact qualified specialists, including patent attorneys.

What documents do I need to register a store name? How long will it take to register a store name?

The process of registering a trademark in Ukraine takes an average of 18-22 months, although this period may be shorter or longer depending on certain factors. Here are the estimated timeframes for each stage:

  1. Formal examination:It usually takes up to one month.
  2. Qualification examination:The longest stage, takes from several months to one year.
  3. Publication of information about the application:After successful completion of the qualification examination, information about the application is published for possible objections. This period is three months.
  4. Registration and issuance of a certificate:If there are no objections or rejected by Ukrpatent, the trademark is registered and the certificate is issued within one to two months.

Factors that may affect the total time:

  • Workload of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations:The more applications for registration, the longer yours may be considered.
  • Complexity of your trademark image:The more details and elements, the longer and more complex the analysis can be.

Even if you prepare all the documents correctly and submit them through a qualified patent attorney, the registration process may take longer. This is because the examination board carefully examines applications to avoid issuing certificates for brands that are already similar to existing ones.

Recommendations for speeding up registration:

  • Do a preliminary search for your brand. This will help to minimise the likelihood that someone will challenge your application because of the similarity to their trademark.
  • Gather all the necessary documents in advance and carefully check them for correctness.
  • Contact a patent attorney who specialises in trademark registration. They will help you prepare your application, correctly classify your goods and services, and advise you on possible risks and nuances.

Although it takes a long time to register a trademark, legal protection starts on the date of filing. This provides you with protection against unauthorised use of the mark by anyone else from that point onwards.

Can I change the name of the store after its registration?

Yes, you can change the name of your store after it has been registered, but this process may differ depending on the procedure used to register the store. Here are possible situations:

  1. The store is registered as a legal entity (the most common forms are LLC and sole proprietorship)
  • In this case, a change of name entails the need to amend the legal entity’s constituent documents. The procedure includes:
    • Decision to change the name by the company’s shareholders or founders (or the sole proprietor).
    • Registration of changes with the state registrar, which requires submission of documents and a certain fee.
    • Updating other related documents (licences, permits, etc.) where the old name is indicated.
  1. The store operates without registration of a legal entity, but a trademark has been registered
  • If you protected the store name as a trademark, you will need to re-register it. Making any amendments to a registered trademark is a new application that goes through all the stages from formal examination to issuance of a certificate.

General important notes

  • Changing the store name can have certain marketing implications (recognition, reputation). Consider this before making a decision.
  • The change procedure may take time and involve certain costs.
  • For precise details, you should contact qualified lawyers, as the legal nuances in this area may change from time to time.

Don’t confuse the “store name” with the “business name”. A business name is not subject to registration, it is a way to identify your business entity, but does not grant exclusive rights.

Are there any restrictions or recommendations for choosing a store name?

Yes, there are certain restrictions and recommendations in Ukraine regarding the choice of a store name. They are aimed at ensuring proper protection of intellectual property and preventing possible consumer misleading. Here are the key ones:

Restrictions:

  • You cannot use already registered trademarks.A preliminary search of trademark registers will help you avoid conflicts with other people’s rights.
  • False, obscene or offensive names are prohibited.The name must be ethical and not misleading about the goods, services or origin of the store.
  • Restrictions on the use of state symbols, names of international organisations, etc. Such use is regulated by special laws.
  • Prohibition on the use of the names of public authoritiesThat is, you cannot call your store “Ministry of Products” or mislead the consumer by resembling official institutions.

Recommendations:

  • Distinctiveness.The name should distinguish your store from others, be unique, so that the buyer can easily remember and identify you.
  • Correspondence to goods/services.It is desirable that the name reflects the essence of the store, the nature of the products sold. This creates a logical connection with the consumer.
  • Simplicity and ease of memorisation.A pile of words or overly specific terms make it difficult to understand.
  • Possibility of protection as a trademark.It is ideal that your name meets the criteria for successful trademark registration.

Additional tips:

  • Check the availability of a domain with this name for possible website development.
  • Evaluate how the name sounds in different languages, especially if you are planning international activities.

It is advisable to consult with a qualified lawyer or patent attorney in the field of intellectual property to determine the possibility of registering the chosen name and to fully understand all the restrictions.

Resources
  1. The Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Rights to Trademarks and Service Marks”.Link.
  2. Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. Link.
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