Trademark registration in Georgia – from US$ 1 130
Georgia attracts foreign investors because of low taxes, the ease of doing business here, profitable real estate, and a high level of financial confidentiality. But apart from that many business people come to Georgia in order to register a trademark (TM) or some other type of intellectual property. This service is especially popular with people from the UIS countries and those bordering Georgia because it is just simpler and faster to do it here. There are no complicated bureaucratic procedures in Georgia of the kind people from other countries have to go through at home. Another important factor is a high level of intellectual property protection, both in the national markets and internationally.
Our company has a number of experienced lawyers on the staff who have been engaged in TM registration for many years. We will help you collect all the required documents and provide legal support at all stages of the TM registration process. After only ten days you will be able to use your TM to effectively promote your goods or services in the country or outside. It would be quite difficult to go through the procedure if you wanted to do it on your own, because all the negotiations with the Sakpatenti officers have to be done in Georgian. Our lawyers are Georgian citizens and they are very good at the local legislation. Besides, they are fluent in English, which eliminates the language barrier for our international clients.
The trademark registration service costs US$ 1 550 with our company and it takes 10 working days to complete it. At the same time, the standard TM registration procedure costs US$ 1 130 but it lasts for a whole year. Given the small price difference, most business people prefer the fast-track mechanism.
Introducing the trademark registration procedure in Georgia
Georgia is a WTO member and it has signed a number of argeements for protection of intellectual rights. In the recent ten years this country has significantly improved its standings in this sphere. Back in 2010 Georgia was the leader in intellectual rights violations (ranking first in the so called anti-ratings). Now the situation is drastically improving and the country is taking the leading positions in the copyright and other types of intellectual rights protection in the region. Thus, in the latest Property Rights Alliance rating Georgia ranks 74, which is 14 points higher than in 2017. For the sake of comparison: Azerbaijan ranks 78, Russia – 84, Kazakhstan – 88, Armenia – 95, Ukraine – 110.
Georgia is also well known internationally for successful protection of its cultural heritage rights and rights for geographic names. Besides, Georgian companies have registered the trademarks for about 30 national cuisine dishes and 20 wines and other alcoholic beverages, such as suluguni, hachapuri, and chacha, for example.
According to the law that went into effect in February 1999, trademarks are registered at the Sakpatenti organization in Georgia. This is the organization that holds the information about all sorts of intellectual property. The Sakpatenti also exchanges this information with counterpart organizations in other countries to provide for the maximum protection against plagiarism and other forms of unauthorized use of intellectual property. With this organization, you can register your rights for a TM and have it protected for:
- The use on international markets (in this case the TM will be registered within the frameworks of the Madrid Agreement Concerning International Registration of Marks); or
- The use on the national markets where the trademarked goods or services will be sold.
The local legislation disallows foreign citizens who neither have a residence permit nor own a business company in Georgia to register a TM with the Sakpatenti by themselves. Only a patent solicitor who holds a special Sakpatenti certificate can do it for them.
So what is a TM, according to the local laws? The Georgian legislation gives the following description of this form of intellectual property: it is a symbol or a combination of symbols that provides a visual representation of the trade object that allows identifying this object among other similar objects.
A TM can legally contain the following types of symbols: a word or several words; proper names; hues and colors; images; and numbers.
A TM can be individual or collective. The latter TM type is used when the product of an association of companies has to be identified.
It is also important to know what can NOT be used for trademarks. They cannot contain signs, symbols, images, etc. that are currently in use, or are commonly used, or that resemble the existing trademarks. For this reason it is imperative to check for similar trademarks in the Sakpatenti catalogue before applying for a TM registration. This type of service was introduced in 2015, and it became publicly available only quite recently, in October 2017.
Documents required for trademark registration in Georgia
We have to collect the following documents and materials from you in order to register a TM with the Sakpatenti:
- Three high quality images of the TM;
- A flash card or other data carrier with the TM information. If a label is to be registered the size of which plays a role, we will need TM samples in the original size; if a 3D image is to be registered, we will need three copies of all its 2D projections to have a perfect understanding of how it should look; if a sound symbol is to be registered, we will need three copies of its audio record plus its graphic representation (the musical notes);
- A notarized power of attorney in the name of a representative lawyer;
- If a collective TM is to be registered, we will need a description of its use regulations;
- The list of goods or services to be trademarked (if this list is short, it can be included in the application form; if it is large, it needs to be attached as a separate document).
In addition to that, the applicant has to fill out a form in Georgian. This form and the documents can be submitted to the Sakpatenti office on a personal visit, or otherwise, sent to the office via their postal service. The latter option provides for 20% discount on the service price.
The process of TM registration in Georgia
The registration procedure contains the following stages:
- Application to Sakpatenti. The application form has to be filled out in Georgian. The date of application is important because it is used to determine the application priority level in case there are several similar trademarks submitted for registration. A receipt proving payment of the state duty has to accompany the document suite. Applications will be often turned down because they do not conform to the Georgian legislation. This is why it would be a good idea to turn to professionals who have experience with TM registration instead of wasting precious time.
- Formal examination. For two months the Sakpatenti officers will examine the application for the conformity to the formal requirements. During the formal examination, some additional documents may be required, and if they are not submitted immediately upon request, the registration procedure will be terminated.
- Substantive examination. This stage of the registration last for six months. It involves investigation of the relative and absolute grounds for refusal of registration.
- Publication of the image and the TM characteristics, applicant’s details, and the list of trademarked products in a specialized journal. It occurs within a month from the date of examination completion and application approval.
- Cancellation claim. Within three months after the publication of the TM details, the applicant can file an application for the TM registration cancellation in case she is not satisfied with the Sakpatenti decision. If good grounds for cancellation exist, the registration of the TM will be cancelled.
If no cancellation claim has been made, or it has been rejected on certain grounds, the applicant receives one more state duty bill for the issue of the certificate. The certificate is issued within three months after the duty has been paid.
The fast-track mechanism involves all the stages described above but they happen faster. The formal examination takes three days, and the substantive examination takes another seven days. After that the TM is registered with the Sakpatenti and the certificate is issued to its owner.
It must be noted that the transition from one stage to the following one happens only after the corresponding state duty has been paid.
State duties for trademark registration in Georgia
In the course of the registration process, the applicant has to pay a state duty set by the Georgian government at every stage of the application. If a due payment has not been made on time, the process will stop. As of beginning of 2019, the registration dues are as follows:
- Formal and substantive examination – US$ 210, fast-track – US$ 690;
- Application priority level monitoring – US$ 30;
- Publication of TM details in an official journal – US$ 60;
- Issue of TM ownership certificate – US$150;
- Certificate prolongation – from US$ 300;
The cost of p. 3 – 5 with the fast-track mechanism is US$ 340.
The registration of a collective TM is going to be more expensive as a separate payment has to be made for every class of goods.
The cost of the TM registration within the frameworks of the Madrid Agreement is 314 Swiss francs for international sale of one class of goods for 10 years. Registering every additional class of goods will cost additional 115 Swiss francs.
Advantages of registering a trademark in Georgia
The registration of a trademark in Georgia attracts foreign citizens for the following reasons:
- There are no complicated and incomprehensible bureaucratic procedures in this country;
- The TM can be registered vary fast, within only 10 working days;
- There is a possibility to file an application to the Sakpatenti remotely in an electronic form;
- Intellectual property rights registered in Georgia can be efficiently protected in courts of law;
- The TM can be registered both for international sales (under the Madrid Agreement conventions) or for the sales at a national market;
- A trusted agent can be hired to file the TM registration application.
The overall number of trademark registration applications that foreigners submit is constantly growing. In 2016, 7 115 registered trademark certificates were issued, and this number rose to 9 024 by 2018.
The procedure of trademark registration in Georgia
Our company has vast experience in registering trademarks and other types of intellectual property in Georgia. We have helped register a large number of trademarks both for the international use and for the use in national markets. Our lawyers will analyze the TM databases for you and monitor application priority ratings in case there are similar applications under consideration. They will also file the application from containing all the details that you specify without violating Georgian laws in the course. In addition to that, they will provide legal support at every stage of the application process until the moment the certificate is issued to you, and also file a cancellation claim and deal with all other complaints if needed. It should be noted that illegal use of trademarks is punished quite severely in Georgia. Anyone who breaks the law faces up to 2 years in duress or a fine starting at 500 lari. If the violation is repeated, the fine will increase.
If you are interested in registering a TM within ten working days, please do not hesitate to do the following:
- Contact us via e-mail: email@example.com.
- Discuss all the details relevant to your TM with our English-speaking Georgian lawyer.
- Pay for our services by any method you like. If you choose the standard procedure, the price starts at US$ 1 130. If you would like to use the fast-track mechanism, the price is US$ 1 550.
- Send us high quality TM samples and other materials such as images, sounds, videos, descriptions, etc. to the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In some instances, you will have to post certain items by DHL international postage service.
If you have any questions as to registering a trademark or any other type of intellectual property in Georgia, please contact us via our corporate e-mail: email@example.com. We will help you obtain a certificate for the use of a registered trademark within no more than ten working days!