SMEs in Spain: Four Essential Measures to Safeguard Your IP

Published on 26 April 2021

Small- and medium-sized enterprises have been the protagonists on Intellectual Property Day 2021, where the theme chosen by the WIPO is “Intellectual Property and SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market.” In this article Monereo Meyer Abogados highlights how intellectual property can be a powerful tool for SMEs to compete and grow in the market.

Below we propose four actions that will help you in this respect:

  1. Search for prior rights

The search for prior rights is a research process involving already existing registrations in order to determine the possible existence of intellectual property (IP) rights. Before using or requesting a trademark, it is advisable to perform a search for prior rights in order to confirm that there are no distinctive signs similar or identical to that intended to be used or registered. This search could avoid an investment of time and money in a distinctive mark that is incompatible with another prior sign and which, therefore, may not be used in the market.

  1. Domain registration

Before registering a trademark, it is advisable to find out whether the domains associated with it are available. Despite the disloyalty of the practice, there are persons who dedicate themselves to purchasing the domains of recently registered  trademarks for their subsequent re-sale at extremely high prices. Therefore, it is recommended that domains be registered at the same time as the trademark.

  1. Trademark registration

The registration of a trademark grants the exclusive right to prevent third parties from commercialising identical or similar products with the same distinctive sign or with one so similar that it could cause confusion for the average consumer. Trademarks have high competitive value since they allow companies to differentiate their products.

  1. Trademark defence

Once trademark protection is obtained, it is equally important to observe new registrations and the non-infringement of such protection by competitors. To do so, it is advisable to establish a firm and clear defence, although with reasonable costs and avoiding unreasonable oppositions or litigation.

These four, simple measures will help to establish the basis for any small- or medium-sized enterprise to protect its intellectual property and its trademark against potential attacks.

For any additional information, our IP expert, Consuelo Álvarez Pastor, would be delighted to answer any questions that might arise.