The rights to a trademark in Malta 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.
To obtain trademark protection in Malta, one can register either locally via the Commerce Department of Malta (IPS), or regionally by filing a European Union Trademarks (EUTM) which grants protection in the whole European Union.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Malta, 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 present revocation actions against the application based on confusing similarity.
There is no provision for opposition actions by third parties against a trademark application. If a third party feels a trademark is in conflict with theirs, they may present revocation actions after the trademark has registered.
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Malta in order for it to register. However, it must not go unused for periods of more than five (5) years or it will become vulnerable to cancelation actions for lack of use. In order to avoid this, the trademark must be used on a commercial scale.
In Malta, registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date. They can then be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten years. The trademark renewal may be requested within the six (6) months preceding the expiration date, or during the grace period of six months following it, upon payment of late renewal fees.