This article provides short, quick answers to frequently asked questions on trademark law in Israel along with links to more information. In Israel, the Israel Patent Office oversees all issues related to trademarks.
What is intellectual property law?
Intellectual property refers to any asset that people and companies create but is not a physical object but rather an idea, a text, a process, etc. Intellectual assets are legally protected by trademarks, copyrights, and patents. By properly registering your intellectual property in Israel you can protect it from being used by your competitors. For more information on intellectual property law in Israel, please see our article: What is Intellectual Property Law?
What is an Israeli trademark?
A trademark is any mark or signifier used by a company to distinguish their products and services from their competitors’. It can be comprised of words, symbols, images, color patterns, sounds, or a combination of the above. An Israeli trademark is any trademark which is registered in Israel. Once you register a trademark it can be used exclusively by your company and no one else. If another party uses your registered Israeli trademark in Israel they are acting in violation of Israeli intellectual property laws and can be prosecuted. For more information on Israeli trademarks, please see our article: What Is an Israeli Trademark.
How do I register a trademark in Israel?
If you want to register a trademark in Israel, you need to pay the relevant fees to the Israeli Trademark Department, fill out an application form, and submit it to the Trademark Department. You will need to attach the symbol or mark which you wish to trademark and specify what type of corporation the trademark is intended for (private company, public company, non-profit, etc.) Make sure to also detail what goods and services the corporation provides. For more information on registering trademarks, please see our article: Filing A Trademark Application in Israel.
How long does it take to register a trademark in Israel?
Trademark registration is a long process. After you submit an application to the Trademark Department, they will need to determine whether or not your submission meets the qualifications laid out in the Trademarks’ Ordinance. They will then send their assessment to the applicant who can make the requisite modifications and continue the process. The amount of time the full process takes varies, but it is usually between 15 months to 2 years. For more information on the process of registering a trademark in Israel and expected wait times, please see our article: Duration of Trademark Application and Registration in Israel.
Is my Israeli trademark protected also in other countries?
Since Israel joined the Madrid Protocol on intellectual property in September 2010, it is possible for you to apply for a registered trademark in Israel which is recognized in another 116 countries – including the United States, the European Union, and China. You must be a citizen of one of those 116 countries, and you must first apply through the Israeli offices before the international application can be completed. Additionally, you must ensure that all the requisite fees for the international application have been paid. For more information on international trademark protection, please see our article: Is My Trademark in Israel Protected Elsewhere.
Who can apply to register an international trademark in Israel According to the local law?
If you have already registered a trademark in Israel, or if you have submitted an application to do so, then you are eligible to apply also for an internationally recognized trademark under the Madrid Protocol. You must also be a citizen, resident, and/or business owner in Israel in order to be eligible to apply for an international trademark in Israel. For more information on international trademarks and who is eligible to apply for them, please see our article: Applying to Register an International Trademark in Israel.
How do I register an international trademark in Israel?
In order to apply for an internationally recognized trademark you must fill in the MM2 form which can be found on the Madrid System website. Once you have signed the form and converted it to a PDF, you need to email it to the Israeli Trademark Department with a receipt that proves that all the relevant fees have been paid. The Israel Patent Office will then assess your application and upon approval send it to the international bureau for international trademark registration. For more information on the process of registering an internationally recognized trademark, please see our article: How to Register an International Trademark in Israel.
Does submitting an application for a trademark before a competing party guarantee exclusive rights to the trademark?
There is no guarantee that you will have exclusive rights to a trademark until it is officially approved and registered. If a competing party has submitted an application for an identical trademark, then the Israel Patent Office will adjudicate which of the two parties should be given exclusive rights to the trademark based upon the evidence provided in the applications. Being the first party to submit an application does not guarantee that the case will be decided in your favor. For more information on how the Israeli authorities determine to whom to grant rights to a trademark in the case of competing applications, please see our article: Exclusive Registration of a Trademark in Israel.
How do I check if a trademark is owned by someone else?
Prior to submitting an application to register a trademark in Israel you must conduct research as to whether the trademark has already been registered by another party including by independently searching the Israel Patent Office database. If you so desire, you can pay the department to conduct the research for you. Only after you are reasonably certain that the trademark has not yet been registered by someone else can you submit your own application. For more information on how to ascertain whether a trademark has already been registered by someone else, please see our article: Checking If a Trademark Is Owned by Others in Israel.
How Long Is a Trademark Valid in Israel Under the Law?
A registered trademark in Israel must be renewed every 10 years and the relevant fees must be paid in order for the registration to remain valid. There is no restriction on how many times you can renew a trademark registration. For more information, on the renewal and extension of an Israeli trademark, please see our article: How Long Is a Trademark Valid in Israel.
Can the same trademark be registered for various services in Israel?
According to Israeli trademark regulations, a company can register a trademark for different goods and services which they provide. However, those goods and services must be explicitly specified in the trademark registration. Furthermore, you may not register a trademark for all possible uses – only for goods and services that the company currently creates or operates. The Israel Patent Office has defined a classification system for categories of goods and services. Each additional category on your trademark registration application incurs an additional fee. For more information on registering a trademark for multiple types of products, please see our article: Registering the Same Trademarks for Various Services in Israel.
Can I use a trademark in Israel before it is registered?
There is nothing prohibiting you from using a trademark in Israel before it is registered, according to the Israeli law. Successfully registering a trademark, however, ensures that you will have exclusive rights to the use of that trademark in accordance with the Trademark Ordinance. If another party successfully registers an unregistered mark which you have been using, you must cease using that mark. Therefore, it is advisable to register your trademark in order to avoid such a situation. For more information on using unregistered trademarks, please see our article: Using a Trademark before Registration in Israel.
Can I use one application to register multiple trademarks?
While it is possible to register multiple trademarks simultaneously in Israel, each trademark requires a separate application and will be processed separately. However, you may register a single trademark for multiple goods and services which your company provides. Note that each additional category of goods and services included, requires an additional fee. For more information on registering multiple trademarks, please see our article: One Application to Register Multiple Trademarks in Israel.
How can I expedite the trademark registration process in Israel?
You may only request that the trademark registration be expedited if you have special reasons to justify the request – e.g., if you can demonstrate that the approval of the trademark is a legal prerequisite for a particular business venture or financial investment or if you can prove that a competitor is trying to use the trademark that you wish to register. In order to apply for the expedited process, you must pay a special fee and sign an affidavit in the presence of an attorney in which you detail the reasons why an expedited process is necessary. For more information on expediting the trademark registration process, please see our article: Expediting Trademark Registration in Israel.
How much does it cost to register a trademark in Israel?
Here you can find a full and updated list of the relevant fees for registering and renewing a trademark in Israel. For detailed information on the costs of registering and renewing trademarks in Israel, please see our article: Cost of Registering a Trademark in Israel.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for a trademark in Israel?
There is no law-based requirement that you use the services of an attorney to register a trademark in Israel except for certain cases in which you must sign an affidavit in the presence of a lawyer. Nonetheless, a lawyer can help simplify the process and ensure that the application is submitted correctly. For more information on legal services when registering a trademark, please see our article: Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for a Trademark in Israel.
How do I protect my trademark in Israel?
Any trademark that is properly registered with the Israel Patent Office, and which helps your customers identify your products and services, is protected under Israeli law. However, so long as the application for trademark registration is not yet approved, the trademark is not yet protected. Once the trademark is approved and registered, your company will have exclusive rights to use the trademark in the categories of goods and services that you registered it for, and you will be able to take legal recourse against anyone who violates those exclusive rights. For more information on protecting your Israeli trademarks, please see our article: How to Protect Your Trademark in Israel.
If you seek legal assistance with Israeli trademark law, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our law firm, Decker & Ofir specializes in this field and would be happy to help you.