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Following the informative visit to the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), at least was clear that to register Roberto I had to provide 10 drawings of the character in different perspectives and positions. So on Monday I put myself to work. I dedicated this first day to make pencil sketches, and search for images that serve as inspiration to me for difficult angles. In the afternoon had already decided the 10 designs to submit and began to do the final drawings.

As I already had the 2 finished Robertos I presented along with the script in the Intellectual Property Registry, I decided to make the remaining 8 using the same technique. It’s essentially to scan the pencil drawing, and then do the inking and coloring using software that can work with Bézier curves paths (such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop). The result is a very clean design that can also be resized without losing quality.

When I went to bed on Monday, had managed to finish a Roberto more and also to design and finish the logo of the brand.

Tuesday was also an exhaustive day and, stopping just 15 minutes to eat, I managed to finish the 7 Robertos that remained to complete the registration. So, I already had all the material in order to check the next day.

On Wednesday I got up early to prepare all the material, and review the rules and forms for the register on the website of the OEPM. As I was reading the instructions, I worried more and more. What it said there was nothing like what I had understood the previous Saturday during my visit to the offices. When I finished perusing the web, I was not sure whether to register a trademark, a design, take the Robertos with the logo, without it, or the size of each design …What a horror! I was very nervous and I wrote to my good friend Javier Paz, who knows a lot of these issues, looking for some help. He immediately replied with a lot of information, but not solve my doubts. My case is different from his and, as I discovered later, is a very peculiar type of register on which each person has their own opinion.

I breathed deeply. It’s okay. Everything has a solution. In no time I got 3 different versions for each of the designs and went to the Work Center in my neighborhood with 30 different pictures on a pen drive. “Good morning, I want a copy of each, respecting the original size of each image.” “All right, it costs 145 euros.” Okay, clearly I was too clever by half … Let’s go to the back-up plan..

So I decided it was better to go first to the OEPM to inform myself about how I had to submit my designs. I passed the security checkpoint, I got the visitor’s badge, and went to the first floor again. This time, the office was crowded with people delivering papers, cried out to heaven and alarmeds currying from one place to another. Shit. I had to came earlier.

I took a number and waited for my turn. I went to my window and I explained my case to a woman who immediately began to recite by rote the entire registration process, contributing with data with very good looking and with an illustrating example. He gave me a pink folder with the papers necessary for registration of an industrial design, and explained that Icould submit up to 10 designs in the same record. As I suspected after seeing the form at home, the drawings were not submitted in DIN A4, as the form had a special page with information of the designer and a box in which was cut and pasted each of the designs. For the registration of the mark had to use computers and printer in the room to get my own copy of the form.Great!, it seemed that was going to be easy.

As all computers were busy, I decided to do some work and go first to print the designs and the logo of my mark in the way that efficient officer had indicated. So, with my pink folder and my pendrive in the pocket, walked to the Work Center which is near Nuevos Ministerios. Fortunately one of the versions of the designs I had prepared was correct, so the only extra thing  I had to do was to print 5 copies of the brand logo. I explained the boy I had to print a set of files in their original size without automatically adjust DIN A4, and after a short discussion because he wanted to charge me for € 1 more for each “open file”, we get the 10 Robertos and 5 copies of the logo. The Work Center at Raimundo Fernández Villaverde has a top floor with tables and a guillotine you can use to cut your papers. I cut out all my Robertos for everyone to fit into the box on the pages for the designs. While I used the guillotine, Thwick-ThwackThwick-Thwack, I realized that if  I had not consulted the dimensions at home and I have presented here with my A4 to print, the only way to have gotten that Roberto would fit in the box on the form was cut him a hand, Thwick-Thwack. Come on, mark you what problem if Mr. reviewer would have thought that what I wanted to register was a one-armed man with wings! As the size of course matter, no one had warned me.

Once I finished my work cut, I went back to the OEPM with my pink folder and a little folder full of Robertos and brand logos. I went back to the first floor, and waited for a free computer. I sat down and opened the link to Register of mixed brands (name + logo) to meet with a form that did not seem very complex. I say seemed, because under the epigraph LIST OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES hid the death trap that kept me all day on the elde of a nervous breakdown. In this first moment, thinking naively that I was given the correct information in this regard, I listed the classes of products the woman who treated me with such efficiency had told me. I printed out the completed form, and picked up number for the counter.

This time it was serviced by another woman. The same, incidentally, had informed me during my first visit last Saturday. I gave her all the papers while explaining briefly I wanted to register a composite mark and an industrial design, and there were all the papers and designs. “Let’s go little by little.” We went first to the design. Everything seemed in order, and she explained to me how to fill some fields that I had left blank pending a little more information. When I asked how many designs would I provide and I answered than 10, she pointed scissors and a glue stick that was on the counter and told me I had to paste each design on a leaf with box on the form. “But … but if I have given here only one!” “Sure, you have to take the rest” “Oh! so, can you make the photocopies for me?” “No way, you’re going to make your own photocopies.” Well I could have said that before the walk to the Work Center!! Uffff, well, nothing happens. I took a deep breath and, with the cold weather in Madrid those days, I played another half hour to come and go because of the photocopies.

We came to the form of a trademark registration. She told me where I needed to glue the 5 copies of the logo and, when we reached the damn epigraph… was not clear for her. She made me explain what I want to register the mark for, and I repited the whole story again, insisting that her colleague had told me to put these types of products.We discussed for 5 minutes after which neither was able to understand what the other was trying to explain. Finally, she sent me to the computers to consult one more time the types of products and activities, and I left the counter.

I sat on the computer, and I read the same list with the same information in my head, of course reaching the same conclusions or, rather, inconclusion as before. I snorted, looked at the clock, and then decided to leave this task. Since closing time was already near, I returned to the Work Center to at least try to resolve the issue of Industrial Design.

I handed my card back in control of visitor safety, warning with a bitter smile I would return shortly. “Wow, no luck?” “Not at the moment, I have to go back to make copies.”

Again the walk to the Work Center, frustrated and angry now, under the inclement weather of February. I ordered the 9 copies of the famous page for the design and, at the prospect of returning to the office full of desperate people like me (now I understood his hictus haggard and tired) to mount the drawings on the form, I bought a glue stick and got on the top floor to make the craft work peacefully.

I sat at a table, took the Robertos and forms, and finished to glue cartoons.Smearing the designs carefully and paste them in each of the 10 pages of the form it took me a while, so when I left the Work Center in the direction of the OEPM, bitterly realized that it was impossible to reach on time. More frustration. All morning lost for nothing. After the first impulse to retire and return to finish the job the next day, I decided to call Javier Paz and asked him to have lunch with me. Their offices are nearby, and later at 4pm the OEPM offices reopened. Javier accepted, and I vented my anger telling him the story of my morning.

At 3:50pm again I crossed the doors of the building of the OEPM, and climbed the stairs to the first floor once again. To my amazement, there was no one in my side of the counter. “Is it because they are not yet 4, obviusly.”. The trouble was that there was no one in the other side of the counter either. Some voices guided me to a room where there seemed to be people. It was a group of girls who were leaving for lunch, and alerted to a man who emerged from the depths of libraries and offices to assist me with a surprised face. He explained to me that the office was open to provide documentation, but if I had not yet made the payment of fees, could not do anything until the next day morning. La Caixa’s office had closed at 2pm, and all this kind man could do for me was to check my papers and give me the forms for paying the fees.

So I went back home, feeling more stupid than in my entire life. The next day would be another day, a little better than that.