Trademarks in Israel
What is a trademark or a service mark?
Trademark is defined in the Israeli Trademark Ordinance (Trademark Ordinance) as a mark which used or intended to be used by a person in connection with the goods in which he manufacture or trades.
A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, images, or any combination used, or intended to be used, to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. For example: the marks Nike, Adidas (for sport products).
A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. For example: the marks: Google, Yahoo (for search engines services).
Why should we register the trademark?
Registering a trademark is recommended in order to protect the rights to use the mark, because it provides you with the exclusive rights to prevent any unauthorized use of the trademark in respect of the relevant goods or services. The basic benefits of registering a trademark are:
a. It gives a national protection to the mark and its usage in respect of the relevant goods or services.
b. It acts as a public notice of the ownership as well as the exclusive rights to use the mark and grants the right to use the ® symbol that may deter potential infringers.
c. It gives the owner of the rights a legal basic to seek an injunction in infringement cases.
d. It helps the owner of the rights to obtain registration in foreign countries.
e. It helps to prevent importation of counterfeiting goods into Israel by acting with the Israeli customs service
Is trademark search necessary?
Before filing a trademark application we strongly recommend to conduct a TM search in the TM Office records. Such search should reveal any conflicting applications or registrations, which may become obstacle to the registration of a requested mark.
Who can apply for a trademark?
Any person or entity claiming to be the proprietor of a Trade or Service Mark used or proposed to be used by him in Israel, may apply for the registration of the mark in Israel. The owner of the mark or an agent acting in the name of, and on behalf, of the owner can apply for a trademark. The agent must be a an attorney having a place of business in Israel and must be duly authorized in writing by the owner of the mark to act on the owner’s behalf by a signed POA. Applicants residing outside of Israel must furnish an address for service in Israel, or file their application through a local patent attorney or lawyer.
Which marks cannot be registered by the TM Office?
Application for registration is registered only if the mark is distinctive and not descriptive.
Some marks are not eligible for registration, for example:
• marks referring to president of the state, flags and emblems of the State public armorial bearings, official signs or seals used by any state;
• a mark in which any of the following words appear: “Patent”, “Patented”, “By Royal Letters Patent”, “Registered”, “Registered Design”, “Copyright”, “To counterfeit this is forgery” or words to like effect;
• a mark which is or may be injurious to public policy or morality;
• a mark likely to deceive the public;
• a mark which contains a false indication of origin;
• marks which encourages unfair trade competition;
• a mark containing a misleading geographical indication in respect of goods originating in the geographical area;
• a mark containing a geographical indication that is literally correct, however that contains a false representation to the effect that the goods originated in a different area, a mark identical with or similar to emblems of exclusively religious significance;
• a mark identical with one belonging to a different proprietor which is already on the register in respect of the same goods or description of goods, or so nearly resembling such a mark as to be calculated to deceive;
• a mark consisting of numerals, letters or words which are in common use in trade to distinguish or describe goods or classes of goods or which bear direct reference to their character or quality, unless the mark has a distinctive character;
• a mark whose ordinary significance is geographical or a surname, unless represented in a special manner or unless heaving a distinctive character;
• a mark identical to, or misleadingly similar with, a well known trade mark even if the mark is not registered in respect of goods for which the mark is well known or in respect of goods of the same description;
• and more.
What are the Governmental fees of registering a trademark?
The Governmental fee, per one class pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the Trademarks Ordinance (relevant to January 2014) are 1622 NIS. For other fees please see the Trademark Office Fee Table at: http://www.justice.gov.il/MOJEng/RashamPatentim/TradeMark/Fees.htm