Earlier rights and searches
A trade mark filed for registration should not be contradictory to the rights acquired before the filing date of the application or the date of priority. Collision may arise if the trademark is identical or sufficiently similar to the subject of earlier right. It can be eliminated on the basis of the written consent of the proprietor of the earlier right, except where the earlier right is an identical trade mark for designating identical goods or services.
Legal protection of the trade mark can begin from the date of priority, i.e. the right to use the date of the earlier application of the same trade mark as a priority date (including the filing date of the application in another country) pursuant to Article 4 of the Paris Convention.
Earlier rights valid in Estonia:
- a trade mark which has become well known earlier and which does not have to be registered;
- an earlier trade mark valid in Estonia or in the European Union which is or filed for registration for identical or similar kind of goods or services;
- a business name entered in the commercial register earlier, if the area of activity of the respective undertaking is of the same field as the goods and/or services listed in the trade mark application;
- the name of a medicinal product registered in Estonia earlier, if the trade mark protection is sought concerning the goods which belong to the field of medicine (The State Agency of Medicines);
- a copyright, a right to the name of an immovable, the name or image of an architectural site or another earlier right.
Relative circumstances which preclude legal protection (TMA § 10)
In order to avoid collision with earlier trade marks, business names and other earlier rights, it is advisory to make searches already during the process of choosing and developing of a trade mark. It helps to clarify whether the chosen sign can be used and legally protected or a different sign should be chosen for a trade mark in order to avoid conflicts.
Searches on earlier trade marks valid in Estonia can be made in two databases: