Why and how to register a trademark in Denmark

The rights to a trademark in Denmark are granted to the person or company that first uses it in this territory. Although registration is not mandatory, in practice it is highly recommended in order to demonstrate clear ownership, prevent future conflicts regarding ownership of the trademark and in order to defend against cases of trademark infringement.

Trademark applications in Denmark are filed with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO). Trademarks registered with the DKPTO also grant protection in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Since these territories do not have local trademarks offices, this is the only way to obtain trademark protection there.

Denmark is a member of the European Union, therefore European Union Trademarks (EUTM) are protected in this jurisdiction. However, the EUTMs do not offer protection in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. 

Denmark is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.

It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Denmark in order for it to register. However, prior use may be useful as it can help overcome an objection raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness, by proving that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Denmark, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. 

In Denmark, the trademark publication occurs after the grant of registration. Third parties may file opposition actions against the trademark during a two-month period starting on the date of publication of the grant in the Danish Trademarks Gazette (Dansk Varemærketidende). The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for five years after the registration date or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. The use can be minimal and may be in Denmark, Greenland or the Faroe Islands.

Registered trademarks in Denmark have an initial validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can then be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten years. The trademark renewal can be requested within a period of six (6) months before the expiration date, or during the grace period of six (6) months that follows it upon payment of late renewal fees.


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