Trademarks serve for the identification of products or services of an individual, business organisation or other legal entity. Names, words, logos, symbols, designs, images can be protected as trademarks. Furthermore, there is a range of non-conventional trademarks which do not fall in one of these categories, e.g. trademarks based on sound or taste. The protection of a trademark orginates from registration or exceptional commercial value. In the latter case, the goods or services sold under this trademark must occupy a highly significant position in the marketplace. The maximum term of registered trademarks is unlimited. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market registers Community trademarks valid in all 28 member states of the EU thus covering one of the most significant markets in the world. German trademarks cover Germany which is the largest economy in Europe. For registration, a list of goods and services for which protection is sought has to be provided. During the registration process, the so-called absolute requirements are examined, e. g. the trademarks cannot be merely descriptive for the respective goods and services. The existence of identical or similar former trademarks (so-called relative requirements) is not examined by the German Patent and Trademark Office and the European Trademark Office (OHIM). The owners of these former trademarks could possibly prohibit the use of later trademarks and ask for an indemnification. Therefore, it is recommended to search for identical and similar trademarks before registration.
We advise and represent clients in all matters related to European and German trademarks including filing, prosecution, administration, and the payment of the maintenance fees. Apart from our qualifications and expertise which might convince you to entrust us with your European trademark, there are a number of further good reasons to choose us as your IP law firm as we are based in Germany. The Germany courts deal with an estimated two thirds of all IP lawsuits in the European Union, are highly regarded in this area, and their decisions are enforceable in Germany, the largest European market. In addition, the legal cost of IP lawsuits in Germany is relatively low (only a fraction of legal cost of comparable lawsuits in the UK). Entrusting us with your case means that you have a contact person at the one of the best locations in the European Union.
In our public IP guide , we set out the general principles of the main intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, utility models, and designs) available in Europe and in particular in Germany. Please, use our contact form and specify whether you are an attorney or potential client in order to request the password for our IP guide comprising our fees or in order to ask for further comprehensive information about European or German intellectual property rights.