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Belgium Trademark Registration (Benelux Country)

The Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherland and Luxembourg) are members of the Madrid Agreement, of the Madrid Protocol and of the European Community. Duly note, since the Benelux Trademarks Act in 1971, there are no national trademark laws in any of the Benelux countries anymore. Trademark protection is obtained by registration.

Requirements
A trademark application has to be filed before the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property. A Power of Attorney is not required. Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.

Procedure
The application process includes an examination on absolute grounds; the official search has been abandoned. Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use. After the examination on formalities and absolute grounds, the application is published in the online Benelux Bulletin for opposition purposes. Oppositions could be filed within a period of 2 months after the first day of the month which follows the date of publication of the mark. The whole procedure takes between 5 and 8 months if there are no complications. There also exists an expedited registration procedure.

Duration
A trademark registration in The Benelux is valid for 10 years from application date. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.

Methods
NATIONAL REGISTRATION: If you just want to register your Trademark in one country, it is sufficient to apply for a national registration at the local trademark office. EUROPEAN UNION (COMMUNITY TRADEMARK): Since this country is a member of the European Union, Trademark Protection could be obtained by registration of a Community Trademark (CTM), which is valid for a period of 10 years in all countries of the European Union.

Extra
Duly note, if the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration or has later not been used for 5 years continuously, it may be subject to cancellation.

Area Practice:

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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