<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=481164012244046&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Protect your trademark when doing business in Norway

Protect your trademark when doing business in Norway

A well-known trademark is usually a result of considerable investment in time and resources and may represent significant value for your company.

When expanding your business to the Norwegian market, you should consider registering your trademark in Norway to safeguard exclusive right to it.

About trademarks

A trademark (TM) identifies your business's goods and/or services in the market, like a name, figure, logo, or other marks. The trademark distinguishes your goods and/or services from your competitors and signals what quality you offer. Trademark matters should be a critical part of your business strategy.

Trademarks are considered intellectual property (IP), like patents, copyrights, designs, and trade secrets. Intellectual property may be valuable and become your company's biggest asset. It is therefore vital to know how to protect this potential asset.

Do I own my trademark?

The answer is not necessarily yes. You do not automatically have the exclusive right to use your trademark. This means that competitors may be able to use trademarks similar to yours and potentially weaken your position in the market. Actions are required to protect your trademark and obtain full ownership and exclusive rights (as described below).

When expanding your business geographically, remember that even trademarks protected in one country are not necessarily protected in another. To secure the exclusive right to your trademark abroad, you should consider trademark protection in each country where your company operates.

How to protect your trademark

There are two different ways to get your trademark protected:

  • By registration (upon application)
  • By certain types of use

Trademark registration is often the most effective way to defend your trademark against competitors. With trademark registration, you will receive documentation that you have the exclusive right to use the trademark. You may use the symbol ®, which could protect against infringement. You will be in a better position if you need to prevent others from using trademarks violating your rights.

The exclusive right to a trademark may also be achieved by certain types of use incorporating the trademark as a well-known brand of your business's goods and/or services. Protecting your trademark this way requires permanent, long-term, and intensive use. In addition, strict documentary requirements must be met. In the event of a conflict, it could be more challenging to invoke exclusive rights through such use than through registration.

There are numerous benefits of having your trademark protected. As a starting point, you will be in a better position to defend your rights if a trademark conflict arises. In addition, your business may be more attractive to potential investors and partners. It can also affect the purchase price if you one day decide to sell the business.

Application for trademark registration

Trademarks are protected nationally in each country. A trademark application must be submitted to the national registration authority of the country where you want to register your trademark. In Norway, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) receives the applications and assesses whether trademarks can be registered.

You must apply separately for each trademark you want to register. If you wish to register a name or a word as your trademark (word mark) and a logo consisting of text and figure (combined mark), you must submit two applications. Each application should be formulated carefully to ensure you receive the best protection for your trademark. It may be advantageous to let someone with expertise in trademark matters handle your application.

How much does it cost?

When you apply to register your trademark, an application fee is payable. The amount of this fee depends on how many types of goods and/or services want your trademark registered for. The application fee also varies between countries.

NIPO uses an international system to classify various goods and services. The basic application fee, including registration for up to 3 classes, is NOK 2900. An additional fee for each class above this is NOK 750.

EU trademarks and international applications

If you plan to use your trademark in several EU countries, you may apply for an EU trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This application will cover all EU member states. However, EEA countries like Norway are not covered. Therefore, a trademark application to Norway must be submitted separately. From time to time, we experience that companies with EU trademarks are unaware of this when doing business in Norway.

It is also possible to apply for trademark registration in several countries through a system known as the Madrid Protocol. By submitting one application to The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), you may apply for trademark registration in several countries simultaneously. You will need a national application or registration before applying for international registration through WIPO.

General terms of registration

In short, two conditions must be met to get your trademark registered:

  • The trademark must be distinctive
  • The trademark cannot be descriptive

A distinctive trademark will differentiate your goods and/or services from the competitors. It must attract some attention. For instance, simple figures such as a line or a dot will not meet the conditions.

A trademark is descriptive if it describes the goods and/or services you intend to use it for. For instance, a bakery business is unlikely to get the word "bread" registered as a trademark as it describes the goods.

Your next step!

We regularly experience established businesses without trademark registration or trademark matters as part of their business strategy. The lack of protection may lead to conflicts that could have been prevented with trademark registration.

Regardless of whether your business is well established in Norway or not, you should consider getting your trademark registered before it is too late. It may prove to be one of your most essential investments.

You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions.

Find out more about starting business in Norway: Do the right things when doing business in Norway


eBook_Cover_Doing business 2022

Doing Business in Norway

Download our guide for companies wanting to explore business opportunities in Norway. This guide gives a practical overview of the required actions applicable for foreign enterprises with business operations in Norway. 

Subscribe to our blog

We share relevant and applicable information related to doing business in Norway.

Our lawyers focus on the practical implications for our clients such as:

  • How to tender
  • How to draft and win contracts in Norway
  • How to establish and operate a Norwegian business
  • How to comply with the tax regulations

New blogs are posted regularly and you are welcome to sign up for e-mail notifications.