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Trademark Law2

Eternal protection for your brand!

Distinctiveness

A brand distinguishes your products and services from those of other companies and is – just like your company name – crucial for the lasting success of your business.
Trademark law allows you to protect a sign for certain goods and services. This sign can be words, letters, numbers, images, but also colours, holograms, multimedia marks and sounds.

Eternal protection for your brand

 

As you can extend trademark protection indefinitely by paying renewal fees, you can achieve perpetual protection.

You can apply for a trademark yourself at the German Patent and Trademark Office. In Germany, you only need a lawyer as a domestic representative if you do not live in Germany or do not have your place of business/branch in Germany and the German Patent and Trademark Office makes a complaint or third party opposes your trademark.

Goods and services

We recommend that you discuss the goods and services that you need to indicate in the application with us. The chosen terms define the scope of protection of your trademark and thus specify whether you can permanently use your trademark against approaches by third parties. Once you have filed your trademark, you can no longer make any changes. It is therefore worthwhile to carefully weigh up the desired protection in advance and to take into account the special features of trademark law.

Registration Ability

We will be happy to provide you with an assessment as to whether your sign can be registered as a trademark at all. For example, marks which do not determine the clear and precise subject matter of protection or which merely describe the goods and services concerned cannot be registered as trademarks.

Research

We recommend that you carry out a search for prior rights of third parties before you use or register your trademark. Do not risk infringing on older third-party rights as this may result in you having to change your company name, destroy products, provide information about your customers and pay damages.

Registration

After decisive advice on the wording of the goods and services and the registrability of the mark, as well as a search, we will gladly take over the application for you. This way you do not have to worry about paying the official fees, further correspondence with the German Patent and Trademark Office and meeting possible deadlines. We are happy to support you in these tasks.

Registration

Once your trademark is registered, you have an exclusive right of use, which you can also license or sell. Since the German Patent and Trademark Office does not check whether other trademarks are applied for after the registration of your mark which may infringe your trademark, we recommend qualified monitoring of your trademark. This is the only way you can reliably learn about younger trademarks that may be problematic, so that you can then take action against them.

International Protection

Is trademark protection outside Germany possibly of interest to you now or in the next few years? Here, too, we will be happy to advise you and discuss the possibilities of protection via an EU trademark, an international trademark or via national trademarks in various countries.

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you.

Our Services

  • Individual advice on your brand strategy
  • Checking the registrability of your desired trademark
  • Draft list of goods and services
  • Preparation and registration of your trademark
  • Trademark Monitoring
  • Supervision and management of your brand
  • Deadline monitoring

FAQs

A trademark is a legally protected sign that is used in a commercial environment to identify and distinguish products or services from other products or services.
The trademark represents your individual business card for the products and services you have developed and into which you have invested a considerable amount of energy, know-how, time and financial resources.

The brand represents your individual and business trademark. It serves to recognize and differentiate you from your competition. Because of your extensive investment of energy, know-how, time and money in your products and services, the brand becomes a valuable asset for you. It helps you to stand out from others, increase your recognition value and effectively protect yourself from copycats and imitators. In addition, after registering your trademark, you can use the ® symbol.

It is advisable to register the trademark in all countries where you are active or intend to be active in the future. A trademark is only protected in the country in which it was registered.
For example, if you have registered your trademark in Germany, you can only take action against infringements that take place in Germany. If a French company offers the same products in France under the same brand, you have little scope for action with your German brand. In this case, you would have to apply for trademark protection in France or the European Union. However, if the company also sells its products in Germany, you can at least take action against the sale in Germany with your brand.

The cost of registering a trademark consists of official fees and legal fees, with the exact amount depending on the scope of protection and the country in which protection is sought.
The scope of protection is determined by the so-called Nice classes. These classes represent an international classification of all possible products and services and comprise a total of 45 different classes (e.g. class 25 for clothing, class 35 for retail services). The term “Nice Classes” goes back to a conference to develop an international classification system, held in Nice in 1957.

The official fees for a trademark application in Germany are EUR 290.00 for up to 3 Nice classes, with an additional EUR 100.00 for each additional class. In the case of a European trademark application, the official fees amount to EUR 850.00 for the first Nice class, EUR 50.00 for the second class and EUR 150.00 for each additional class. We would be happy to provide you with a non-binding offer about the specific legal fees and the amount of the official fees in the context of international trademark protection.

In principle, it is possible to protect various elements as a trademark, such as words, personal names, slogans, images, combinations of numbers and letters, three-dimensional designs and colors. The prerequisite is that they are suitable for distinguishing one’s own products or services from those of the competition.

The question of whether such “distinctiveness” exists depends on the overall impression conveyed by the mark. In some cases, this power may not exist, particularly where the mark is a description of the protected product or service. A good example of this is always that the “Apple” brand could enjoy protection for smartphones and laptops, but not for a fruit stand.

Normally there is no trademark protection for abbreviations, purely factual information and national coats of arms. In addition, trademark protection is excluded if the sign is descriptive of the products or services in question, contains deception or is contrary to public order.

The most common forms of marks consist of two-dimensional images, namely word marks, figurative marks and combinations of both (word-figurative marks).

Word marks protect words, slogans and combinations of letters and numbers, regardless of their subsequent graphic representation when using the mark.
Picture marks only protect pictorial or graphic elements, without any word components.
Word-figurative marks protect representations or logos that contain both pictorial or graphic elements and word elements.

In addition, non-two-dimensional forms of representation can also be protected, such as 3D marks and sound marks. The choice of trademark form mainly depends on your protection needs and the intended use of your trademark in the future.

Once a trademark has been registered, it enjoys protection for ten years, which can be extended for a further 10 years as often as you like. This allows you to extend your trademark protection indefinitely.

Yes, worldwide protection of your trademark is possible via an international registration or national applications on site. If you want to protect your trademark not only in Germany and/or the EU, but also in other countries such as the USA, Switzerland, India or China, you have the option of registering your trademark inexpensively via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) directly in register in the respective countries. About 100 countries are currently united in the so-called Madrid trademark system, in which an application via the WIPO is possible.

Karin Simon
Lawyer
Certified IP Lawyer

Susanne Graeser
Lawyer
Certified IP Lawyer

Uhlandstr. 2
80336 Munich
Germany

Phone +49 89 90 42 27 51-0
Fax +49 89 90 42 27 51-9

Karin Simon
Rechtsanwältin

Fachanwältin für
gewerblichen Rechtsschutz

Susanne Graeser
Rechtsanwältin

Fachanwältin für
gewerblichen Rechtsschutz

Uhlandstr. 2
D-80336 München

Tel. +49 89 90 42 27 51-0
Fax +49 89 90 42 27 51-9