Trademark registration

The increase in the number of trademark applications filed directly at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office by Norwegian applicants continued in 2017, leading to the highest number ever.

Two ways to register a trademark in Norway:

  • File an application for registration directly to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO). Most Norwegian applicants file trademark applications in this way.
  • Private individuals or businesses connected to one of the member states of the Madrid Protocol can apply for registration in the other member states on the basis of a national trademark application or registration. More than half the trademark applications made to NIPO are designations via the Madrid Protocol.

The total number of trademark rights in Norway consists of a combination of these. A trademark registration applies for 10 years and can be renewed for 10 years at a time.

Trademarks: figures for period 2014-2017

  2014 2015 2016 2017
Trademark applications total
(trademarks and collective marks)
15450 16630 15702 17307
- direct to NIPO from Norwegian applicants 3959 4097 4265  4439
- direct to NIPO from foreign applicants 3008  3007  3302  3061
- international designation in Norway via Madrid Protocol from Norwegian applicants 11  6
- international designation in Norway via Madrid Protocol from foreign applicants 8472  9521  8133  9801
Decisions in trademark applications
(trademarks and collective marks)
16437  15662 15776  14635
- registered trademarks 14542  13569 13294  12228
- refused  184  136  143 91
- finally shelved or withdrawn 1957 1957 2339 2316
Renewed 8717 10320 11944 11946
Total number of registered trademarks, collective marks and responsibility marks in effect 207918 214449 217437 219576

The combined number received from foreign applicants, 12,862 applications and designations, is also a historic high. Parts of the intake are, however, due to a lag in designations in international trademarks WIPO from 2016.

Around 85% of trademark applications are normally approved, and 12,228 trademarks and collective marks were registered in 2017.

A total of 14,635 trademark applications were decided, 7% down on 2016. This is primarily due to fewer hours being spent on processing applications. Resources have been used on development projects such as an application guide for trademarks and improvements to the application process. In the longer term this will improve efficiency and reduce processing time. Together with the record number of new trademark applications, this led to an increase in the number of trademark applications being processed, to around 2,600 compared with the previous year.

Processing time for trademarks

The target is for applicants applying for registration of trademarks at NIPO, to receive decisions on their applications within 3-6 months. If there are no obstacles, the trademark is registered within this time. Applicants who need faster decisions can request fast-track processing. We measure average case processing time as the time from when the trademark application is filed until the applicant receives a response from NIPO. In 62% of cases the outcome is that the trademark is registered without further dialogue with the applicant.

At the end of 2017, the case processing time was around 4 months for trademark applications filed directly to NIPO, and around 5 months for international designations in Norway under the Madrid Protocol. Overall, processing time for the whole year taken together was around 2 months longer than in 2016. This is principally due to the high number of trademark applications. We received around 2,600 more trademark applications than we finished processing.

In 2017, NIPO decided an average of 416 applications per full-time equivalent employee. This means the applications were registered, denied registration, finally shelved or withdrawn by the applicant. We consider this variation to be within the normal range.

Responsibility marks

A responsibility mark is a stamp for gold, silver and platinum articles. NIPO administers the register of responsibility marks in Norway. A gold, silver or platinum article that is stamped with a fineness mark has to be stamped at the same time with a responsibility mark. A responsibility mark shows who has placed the article on the market (who is the producer or importer). This makes it possible to identify who has made the article, for example which goldsmith. Responsibility marks must be renewed every ten years after registration. 54 new responsibility marks and 22 renewals of responsibility marks were registered in 2017, which is a normal level.

Complaints over business names

If someone believes that a business name registered in the Business Register in Brønnøysund is liable to be confused with their own company name or trademark, they can lodge a complaint at the NIPO. The same applies if the business name infringes rights to a protected personal name. It is NIPO that deals with such claims for administrative review of business names registered in the Business Register at Brønnøysund. NIPO received 33 claims for administrative review of registered business names in 2017. This is nine fewer than in 2016. Around a third of the claims were upheld.

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