Annual growth of Greek GDP has surpassed the respective levels of most of its EU partners. The tourism industry is a major source of foreign exchange earnings and revenue accounting for 15% of Greece’s total GDP and employing, directly or indirectly, 16.5% of the total workforce.
The Greek labor force totals 4.9 million, and it is the second most industrious between OECD countries, after South Korea. The Groningen Growth & Development Centre has published a poll revealing that between 1995 and 2005, Greece was the country with the largest work/hour ratio among European nations; Greeks worked an average of 1,900 hours per year, followed by the Spanish (average of 1,800 hours/year). In 2007, the average worker made around 20 dollars, similar to Spain and slightly more than half of average U.S. hourly income. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, occupied mainly in agricultural and construction work.
Who May Apply?
The first applicant is entitled to registration, and ownership of a
mark is acquired only through registration.
Foreign nationals or Greeks established in business outside Greece
are entitled to registration if their trademarks are registered in the
country where the business is located and there exists reciprocal
protection of Greek trademarks, as by international convention or
through the exchange of notes between the Greek government and
that of the foreign country in question. A foreign trademark lawfully
registered in Greece is independent of the trademark of the country in
which the business of its owner is located.
A registered trademark also may be registered in the name of another
party in respect of the same goods if between the registered
owner and the applicant there is a close and substantial financial connection
and provided that the use of the trademark will not create a
risk of deceit to the public.
What Can Be Registered?
A sign is registrable if it is capable of being represented graphically
and capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one entity
from those of another; signs may include words, personal names,
designs, pseudonyms, letters, numerals, sounds and musical phrases,
the shape of goods or their packaging. Service marks may be
Registration of trademarks used on pharmaceuticals is compulsory.
What Cannot Be Registered?
The following are not registrable:
(1) signs that do not constitute a trademark under the law;
(2) marks that lack distinctiveness;
(3) marks that consist exclusively of signs indicating the characteristics
of the goods or services;
(4) marks that consist exclusively of signs that are customary in
current language or in established trade practices;
(5) signs that consist exclusively of the shape of the goods, where
that shape results from the nature of the goods themselves, is
necessary to achieve a technical result, or adds substantial
value to the goods;
(6) marks that are contrary to public policy and accepted principles
(7) marks that tend to deceive the public;
(8) flags, emblems, escutcheons, symbols, signs and hallmarks
under article 6ter of the International Convention;
(9) marks applied for in bad faith.
The registration of a trademark will not prevent others from using
their names, surnames, and addresses, as well as statements concerning
the kind, time, and place of production, quality, purpose, price, or
weight of a similar product or merchandise, provided the use of the
foregoing is not made in the form of a trademark.
(1) full name, address, occupation, and nationality of the applicant;
(2) power of attorney, legalized by the Greek consul or with an
(3) a list of goods and services for which the mark is to be registered;
(4) ten prints of the mark, except if the mark is an ordinary work
mark. If the mark is in color, 12 additional color prints are required;
(5) a certified copy of home registration. This is not ordinarily
required from applicants of International Convention countries.
Evaluation & Review
Applications for registration are examined as to form, registrability,
and likelihood of confusion with conflicting prior marks; the results of
the examination are announced at a hearing. If there are errors in or
objections to the application, the applicant must respond. Once the
application is accepted by the Trademark Office, it is published in the
Official Gazette, and is registered seven months after publication,
provided no successful oppositions have been lodged.
A trademark registration is granted for a term of 10 years from the
day after the filing date of the application. A registration is renewable
for like periods without limitation. Renewal should be applied for during
the last year of the term of protection; renewals may be made
within a six-month grace period after expiration, but an increased fee
must be paid.
A trademark must be used within five years of its registration.