Significant Amendments to Spanish Trademark Law


  • Significant Amendments to Spanish Trademark Law
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MADRID – Spain issued the Royal Decree No. 21 of December 2018, which will modify some articles of the Trademark Law 17/2001 of December 7. The Decree came into force in Spain on January 14, 2019.
The modifications came to homogenize the Spanish system of trademark registration managed by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) with the trademark registration system of the European Union managed by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
The most significant amendments that will change the current trademark law in Spain are summarized as follows:
1. In case of opposition, the trademark applicant may require the opponent to provide proof of use of its trademark for the last five years, provided that the opposing trademark has been granted before January 2014.
2. In relation to the distinctive sign, representation will only be required, without further ado, in the Register of Marks without specifying the means used, but in a way that allows the authorities and the general public to determine the object of the protection.
3. The protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications is reinforced through the systematization of absolute prohibitions.
4. The new regulations will offer users agile administrative procedures for the declaration of nullity and expiration of registered trademarks. 
The entry into force of the new regulations will be in two steps. The first phase entered into force on January 14, 2019 and the second phase will do so on January 14, 2023.
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