Trademark Registration in Germany
Register a Trademark in GermanyUpdated on Friday 10th April 2020
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The German Trademark Act
The protection of trademarks in Germany falls under the regulations of the Trademark Act. Commercial designations and indications of geographical origin are also protected by the Trademark Act in Germany.
According to the Trademark Act, a trademark is any sign, word, number, letter, sound mark and three-dimensional designs employed to represent the goods or services of a German company and distinguish them from another company’s goods or services. Trademark protection occurs after the sign is registered with the Register of the Patent Office in Germany. Both companies and citizens are allowed to file a petition for trademark registration in Germany.
What are the requirements for trademark registration in Germany?
The registration of trademarks is made by submitting an application with the Patent Office in Germany. Additionally to the prescribed application form that must be filled out, the following information are also requested:
- - the identity of the applicant,
- - a representation of the German trademark to be registered,
- - a list with the goods or services the trademark will represent,
- - a registration fee which must be paid upon registration.
Our lawyers in Germany can conduct the trademark registration procedure thorough power of attorney.
The trademark registration procedure in Germany
Once all documents are submitted, the German Patent Office will examine the trademark application, if the application respects all legal requirements, if the fees have been paid and whether the applicant is entitled to register the trademark. If all requirements are met, the Patent Office will allow the registration of the trademark and then publish it in the Official Gazette. The trademark will remain published for three months, time in which anyone considering the registration may harm them can file an opposition to the registration of the German trademark.
If no one opposes the registration of the trademark, the Patent Office will register the trademark. The German Trademark Act grants a 10-year protection period. Upon expiry, the protection period may be renewed for another 10 years.
How to Create a Distinctive Trademark in Germany
There are several requirements regarding the creation and registration of a distinctive trademark in Germany. Some are market requirements that you must take into consideration for a successful business, other refer to legal requirements imposed by the authorities. Our lawyers are willing to help you with professional advice on how to create a distinctive trademark in Germany.
A few rules on how to create a distinctive trademark in Germany
When you open a company in Germany, or if you already have a successful enterprise you might be interested to register a trademark for it. Some of the main aspects that you have to take into account when you start elaborating a trademark refer to the clarity of the sign and in its capacity to communicate effectively. Any interpretable allusions and possible adverse connotations that might create confusion are to be avoided.
Another important element to keep in mind is that the trademark needs to look well on a variety of advertising media, from banners to smartphones. This adaptability of your trademark and its suitability for a larger variety of media is going to increase audience and to bring you an increase in returns.
One of the most important things that must be found in a trademark is originality. Your trademark needs to be distinct from competitive products, and to be designed in order to produce a powerful impact, and hard to forget impression on your target public. It is recomendable to take into consideration as well the local preferences and business culture. If you have already elaborated your distinctive trademark, our German lawyers are ready to assist you with its registration and its release on the market as soon as possible.
Create a distinctive trademark according to the regulations in Germany
According to the Company Act and to the German legislation, in order to be officially recognized, any trademark must be registered at the Trademark Department of the German Patent and Trademark Office. Subsequently your proposition is going through a verification procedure. The evaluators are going to check the distinctiveness of your trademark, and the whole process might take up to 6 months.
If your trademark passes the evaluation it is going to be published in Markenblatt, thus certifying its recognition. The trademark which has been recognized is going to be valid for 10 years, with the possibility for renewal.
Oppose a Trademark in Germany
How to file for trademark opposition in Germany?
As mentioned above, one of the steps of the trademark registration procedure in Germany is to publish the trademark in the Official Gazette for three months. During these three months anyone with previous rights or with valid reasons to contest the registration of the trademark may file an opposition. The period for trademark opposition in Germany cannot exceed the three months period.
A trademark opposition is usually filed by owners of previously registered trademarks or owners of other registered intellectual property rights. Trademark opposition in Germany must be submitted in writing. In order to file for trademark opposition a fee must be paid.
You can rely on our attorneys if you want to file for trademark registration in Germany or opposition.
What are the stages of trademark opposition in Germany?
Once the trademark opposition fee is paid and the application submitted, the opponent must prove that he or she has valid reasons to contest the registration of the trademark. The opponent must file a statement that shows how the trademark registration would affect him or her and must submit a statement of the reasons for opposing the registration.
Contrary to other countries where the contested party must submit an answer to the opposition, in Germany no counter-statement must be submitted. The applicant for trademark registration may file a counter-statement only if he or she considers so.
A settlement between parties is usually reached when a trademark opposition is submitted. However, if no settlement is reached, the opponent and the applicant must file evidence that supports the opposition, respectively the registration of the trademark. Based on all evidence, the German Trademark Office will make a decision whether to grant or deny the registration of the mark.
Trademark opposition may be appealed to the Trademark Office or to the German Federal Patent Court, according to the Trademark Act.
For complete details about trademark registration in Germany and intellectual property laws please contact our German law firm.
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