The Danish monarchy dates back to the 10th century. The constitution
of 1849 introduced a bicameral parliament, which in 1918 was
replaced by an electoral system combining a proportional representation
with elections in individual constituencies was introduced.
Denmark joined NATO in 1949 and the European Community (now
European Union) in 1973. In 1992, Danish voters rejected the
Maastricht Treaty, which resulted in Denmark being granted exemptions
from the common defence and the single currency of the treaty.
In 2000, the Danes rejected the adoption of the Euro.
Who May Apply?
Any natural or legal person may apply for the registration of a
Applicants not conducting business in Denmark and not being
residents of a country party to the International Paris Convention or
a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be required to
prove that a similar trademark is registered for him for the same
goods and/or services as comprised by the application in his home
country. Subject to reciprocity the Minister of Trade and Industry
may decide that this requirement should not apply.
What Can Be Registered?
A trademark may consist of any sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises and
capable of being represented graphically, in particular:
1. Words and word combinations, including slogans, personal
names, company names or names of real property;
2. Letters and numerals;
3. Pictures and designs; and
4. The shape, equipment or packaging of the goods.
What Cannot Be Registered?
The following trademarks are excluded from registration on absolute
1. Trademarks not capable of being represented graphically;
2. Trademarks devoid of any distinctive character;
3. Trademarks exclusively consisting of signs or indications which
may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity,
intended purpose, value, geographical origin, the time of production,
or other characteristics of the goods andlor services; or
4. Trademarks exclusively consisting of signs or indications which
are customarily used to designate the goods or services in the
current language or in the established practices of the trade.
An objection under items 2-4 may be overcome, if the applicant is
able to prove that at the time of filing of the application the trademark
had acquired distinctiveness through the prior use made hereof in
Trademarks exclusively consisting of a shape, which is dictated by
the goods themselves, a shape of goods necessary to obtain a technical
result, or a shape giving substantial value to the goods are also
excluded from registration.
Finally, the Danish Patent and Trademark Office will refuse
trademarks that are:
1. Contrary to law, public order, or morality;
2. Liable to mislead the public as to the nature, quality, or
geographical origin of the goods or services;
3. To be refused pursuant to Article Gter of the International Paris Convention, or that include badges, emblems, and escutcheons of
4. consisting of or containing an element which can be construed
as a personal name or company name to which another has legal
title, or as a portrayal provided allusion is not made to persons
long dead, or contain a distinctive name of or picture of the real
property of another party;
5. Consisting of or containing an element which can be construed
as a distinctive title of the protected literary or artistic work of
another party or which infringe the copyright in such works or
the right to a photograph of another party or the industrial property
rights of another party.
The presence of an objection mentioned under items 1-3 will lead to
refusal of the application, whereas an objection under items 4-5 will
be cited in the search report of the Office. The Office will
waive an objection under items 3-5 if a letter of consent from the appropriate
authority or rights holder is submitted.
1. Identical or similar to an earlier trademark, and the goods and
services to which the mark refers are identical or similar to the
goods or services for which the earlier trademark is protected. In
conflicts involving identical marks and goods and services, the
presence of a risk of confusion is assumed, whereas in conflicts
involving similar marks andlor goods and services, the presence
of a likelihood of confusion, including a likelihood of association,
2. Identical or similar to an earlier Danish or Community trademark,
and is sought to be registered for goods or services different
from those of the earlier trademark, provided that the earlier
trademark is well-known in Denmark and the EU, respectively,
and the use will take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to,
the distinctive character or repute of the earlier mark.
3. Identical or similar to a "well-known" trademark within the
meaning of Article 6bis of the International Paris Convention,
and is sought to be registered for goods or services different from
those in respect of which the earlier trademark is well-known,
provided that use of the later mark may lead to a likelihood of
association of the marks, and the use will take unfair advantage
of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of the
4. Identical with, or only insignificantly distinct from, a trademark,
the use of which at the date of filing the application for registration
has commenced in another country and is still in use there
for goods and services identical or similar to those for which the
later trademark is sought registered, and the applicant at the
date of filing had, or should have had, knowledge of the foreign
trademark. 5. Identical with or confusingly similar to a mark or another kind
of sign used in the course of trade in Denmark before the date of
application for registration of the later mark, or, where appropriate,
before the date of the priority claimed in the application for
registration of the later mark (see $43:30).
An "earlier trademark" is a trademark having an application date
prior to the date of application of a later mark and consisting of:
(a) European Community trademark applications (subject to their
' registration) and registrations, including such claiming seniority in
relation to a trademark mentioned under (b) and (c);
(b) Danish trademark applications (subject to their registration)
(c) Trademarks subject to an international registration with effect
(d) Trademarks that, on the application or priority date, are wellknown
in Denmark, pursuant to the definition of well-known marks
under section 6bis of the International Paris Convention; or
(e) Trademarks acquired prior to the filing date of a later
trademark through use in the course of trade in Denmark.
A trademark application should contain the following information: 1. Name and address of applicant.
2. The goods andlor services to be comprised by the application.
3. A representation of the trademark (if figurative).
4. If the application contains a claim for priority, cf., the International
Paris Convention, the application number and country of
the priority application.
5. If the applicant is not conducting business in Denmark, is not a
resident of a country party to the International Paris Convention,
or is not a member of the WTO, it must be proved that a
similar trademark is registered for the same goods andlor services
in the applicant's home country.
If a trademark application is filed through an established trademark
attorney no power of attorney is required. A certified copy of the priority
application is only to be submitted if specifically requested by the
Danish Patent and Trademark Office.
Electronic filing is possible and the official fee for an application to
register a trademark in Denmark is currently DKK 2350.
Evaluation & Review
The Office will examine whether the application satisfies the other
requirements of the Trademarks Act. If no absolute
grounds for refusal are present, the Office will conduct a search among
prior rights in the Danish Trademarks Register (including Madrid
Protocol registrations designating Denmark) and Community
Trademarks Register, among registered company names, personal
names, and rights obtained according to the Copyright Act and
forward the result of this search to the applicant granting a term of
two months for the applicant to notify the Office whether he wishes to
proceed with the application. If the applicant requests that the application
proceeds or the applicant does not respond to the search
report, the application proceeds to registration and publication.
The Office does not refuse trademarks on relative grounds ex officio.
A proprietor of an earlier right will have to oppose registration or
challenge a registration of a later trademark on his own initiative for
which reason the establishment of a trademark watch is recommended.
A trademark registration is in force for a period of 10 years from
the date of registration and renewals are for 10 years. Applications
for renewal must be accompanied by payment of the official fee and
must be filed no earlier than six months before and no later than six
months after the expiration of the registration period.
If a registered trademark is not timely renewed the registration will
be deleted by the Office.
A trademark proprietor is not required to submit affidavits of use.
However, a trademark may be revoked upon the request of a third
party if, within a period of five years from the date of completion of
the registration process, the trademark has not been put to genuine
use in Denmark in connection with the goods or services covered by
the registration, or if such use has been suspended for an uninterrupted
period of five years and there are no proper reasons for nonuse.
In this regard use by a licensee will constitute use by the licensor.
The date of completion of the registration process is the date of
expiry of the opposition period, if no oppositions were filed. If oppositions
were filed, the date of completion of the registration process will
be the date on which a final decision in the opposition (or possibly appeal
or lawsuit) is rendered.
Genuine use of a trademark is use of the trademark on goods andlor
for services in Denmark. In practice as long as the use made of a
mark is not token, even modest use may fulfill the use requirement.
Use of a trademark in a form not differing substantially from the its
registered form will constitute use of the trademark, and affixing the
trademark to goods or services in Denmark solely for export purposes
will also constitute use.
Domain names registered under the top level domain.dk may be
challenged by filing a complaint with the Complaints Board for
Domain Names, or by filing a civil suit with the Danish courts.
The Complaints Board and the courts are competent to make rulings
about the compliance of domain name registrations with proper
domain name practise, the Rules for Registering, Administering and
Resolving Conflicts in Connection with Domain Names Under the.dk
Top Level Domain, and current Danish legislation, and may decide to
suspend, cancel or transfer the domain name.'
Accordingly, if a the proprietor of a domain name registration has
no legitimate interest in the domain name, or, e.g., the domain name
registration contains a prior trademark and the goods andlor services offered on the Web site are identical or similar to those for which the
trademark is registered upon filing a complaint the trademark proprietor
should be able to have the domain name transferred.
Once a complaint has been filed with the Complaints Board for
Domain Names, the Board will invite the proprietor of the domain
name registration to submit observations to the complaint. On the
basis of the complaint and possible submission by the proprietor .of
the domain name registration, the Board will consider whether there
is any basis for initiating a dispute settlement procedure. If the Board
finds that there is no basis for dispute settlement the Board will
render a decision.
A trademark proprietor may enforce his trademark right by filing
an opposition, a request for cancellation, a request
for seizure of the infringing goods (confirmatory civil suit must follow),
by filing an injunction (confirmatory civil suit must follow), or by
filing a civil suit.
Customs actions against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual
property rights and the measures to be taken against goods
found to have infringed such rights are governed by (EC) No. 13831
2003 of July 22, 2003. Under this Council Regulation, infringing or
counterfeit products entering Denmark, or in transit, a trademark
proprietor, or a licensee, may request suspension of the release of
goods which appear to be infringing a trademark right. Upon such
request, or of its own motion, Danish Customs will suspend the release
of goods which appear to be infringing or counterfeit. If the Danish
Customs suspend the release on its own motion, it will notify the
trademark proprietor (or the Danish attorney of record) and suspend
the release for three working days for the trademark proprietor to
ascertain whether the suspended goods are in fact counterfeit.
A further suspension of 10 working days of the release of the goods
to provide the trademark proprietor with sufficient time to ascertain
whether the goods are in fact counterfeit, to settle the conflict out-ofcourt,
or to file a confirmatory civil suit is usually granted, whereas
only in exceptional cases will the Danish Customs grant another 10
day suspension if such action was taken on its own.