Marks and trade names

The SPTO awards trade marks for products and services and trade names that provide legal protection for distinctive signs. Service marks can no longer be registered. Service marks awarded previously remain registered, however, until the final twenty or ten-year period they were awarded or renewed for expires.


  • A trade mark is a title giving exclusive rights to the use of a name or mark identifying a product or service on the market
  • Trade marks can be words or a combination of words, pictures, figures, symbols, graphics, letters, numbers, three-dimensional forms (packaging, containers, product formats or representations).
  • Go to Trade Mark Act 17, dated 7 December 2001.


  • A trade name is a title that grants the exclusive right to use any mark or name to identify a company involved in trading activity. Like industrial property rights, trade names are not the same as company names registered in Mercantile Registers.
  • Go to Trade Mark Act 17, dated 7 December 2001

The protection conferred by distinctive signs has a duration of ten years starting from the date the application was filed and can be renewed for an indefinite period. Fees must be paid to ensure that the distinctive signs remain in effect. Different fees apply to trade marks while they are being processed. Ask the SPTO for further details.