A strong trademark is the figurehead of a company. It increases the recognition value of a product or service. A strong trademark influences the consumer’s purchasing decision, serves as an orientation aid and sets the company apart from competitors.
A trademark strongly influences the consumer’s perception. A product or a service which is connected to the respective trademark or company name creates an identity of origin.
Without being registered, a trademark lacks any protection. Should a competitor introduce a similar product bearing the same trademark on the market, is it usually not possible to prevent their use of the mark.
In the worst case, the imitator will register the used sign as a trademark and can then even prohibit you from using it further.
What can be registered as a trademark?
Goods such as tools, textiles or food, as well as services such as management consulting, maintenance or repair work or the organization of events, can be protected with a trademark.
Within the scope of the marking of goods or services, word marks (e.g. “Persil”), device marks (e.g. “Mercedes star”) or combined word/device marks (e.g. “PUMA”) may be registered as trademarks. However, three-dimensional designs, sounds or colours can also be protected as trademarks under certain conditions.
What is not eligible to be registered as a trademark?
Excluded from registration is data that directly describes the characteristics of the product or the service. For example, the term “Diesel” is excluded for fuels. However, a trademark “Diesel” for clothes is quite possible.
In addition, advertising terms such as “super” or “mega” are not protectable.
Is a search prior to the application useful?
Basically, we recommend a search for already existing trademark rights before you apply for your desired trademark. We will search for identical or similar trademarks for you. The search is fast, inexpensive and helps to avoid later legal disputes.
How is a trademark registered?
In order to have a trademark registered, it has to be filed and examined.
For German trademarks, this is done at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GPTO). The goods and services for which the trademark is to be protected must be listed in a so-called list of goods and services. For this purpose, all existing goods and services are divided into 45 classes (Nice Classification). We will be happy to prepare a detailed list of goods and services for you!
As soon as the Office has finished the substantive examination, the trademark application will be published in the Trademark Gazette. Provided that they have an identical or similar established trade mark, third parties can file an opposition within 3 months – but only if the goods or services of both parties are identical or similar.
Where can trademark protection be obtained?
Do you sell your goods and services not only in Germany, but also in Europe or in other countries?
Trademark protection abroad may either be obtained via individual, national trademark applications in the respective countries or via existing international conventions.
This gives you the opportunity to obtain trademark protection in the European Union via the “European Union trademark”. It is also possible to apply for an “international trade mark”. This is based on the Madrid Agreement, which covers a large number of countries. The prerequisite for international trademark registration is the filing of a so-called basic trademark. This can for example be a German or a European Union trademark.
For how long can a trademark be protected?
A trademark is registered for 10 years and can be extended indefinitely for a further 10-year-period. Renewal fees will apply.
How much does a trademark application cost?
You will find the costs for a domestic or a foreign trademark application here.