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Benelux trademark protects Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. In order to obtain trademark protection in Benelux you can register your trademark in two ways: First option is that you request registration in the entire European Union with one single application; this can be done via the European Union Trademark which grants trademark protection in the 28 country members of the EU (more info here). Second option is that you register directly your trademark in Benelux. If you want to proceed this way please follow the steps described belows.
Step 1 - Trademark Study
Before filing your trademark in Germany, you must evaluate any issues that may arise during the registration process. Our Comprehensive Study not only lists similar trademarks (graphic and phonetic) that may conflict with yours but also provides you with an Attorney's opinion on the trademark registration possibilities and the class(es) that your goods/services belong to.
Graphic and phonetic similarity trademark search report
Trademark attorney's analysis and advice
Trademark class recommendation
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Step 2 - Trademark Application
Specialized attorneys will file your trademark application in Germany and carry out all the necessary formalities to bring your application for approval and registration. As soon as your trademark is filed, we will send you a filing report that will include the application number and application date. Also, we will send you a scanned copy of the filed application.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Filing the Report & a Scanned Copy of the application
Tracking the Registration Process Online
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Step 3 - Trademark Certificate
Once your trademark application is approved, our attorneys complete all the formalities necessary to obtain the registration certificate in Germany. After the certificate is issued, it is forwarded to your address along with a registration report specifying the registration number, registration date, and any special consideration that should be taken into account in Germany.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Delivery of Registration Certificate & Report
Monitoring & Notification of Important Dates
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 3 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Germany, do I have protection in other territories?

Registered trademarks in this jurisdiction are protected in Germany and East Germany. If the registration can be based on the European Union Trade Mark (formerly Community Trademark), the territorial limit would be all member countries of EU.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

A simple scanned power of attorney is required.

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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Germany?

The sequence of the application procedure is as follows: 

  1. Examination – Elements of the application are examined such as compliance to trademark requirements, classes of good/service, clarity of description, and deceptiveness.
  2. Registration – After the mark was examined by the trademark office authorities, and there are no absolute grounds for the application to be refused, a certificate of registration will be issued to the applicant.
  3. Publication – The registered trademark will then be published in the Markenblatt. The specifics of the registration will be published and be made accessible to the public. The publication phase allows third-parties to check the newly registered mark and file a complaint or opposition if need be.
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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Germany?

Yes. The filing date in your home country can be claimed as the filing date in Germany if the following requirements are met: 

  • Your home country is a member of the Paris Convention
  • The filing date in your home country occurred within 6 months prior to the application date in Germany
  • Your home country is a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization)
  • International registration can be based in Germany
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

You must use a registered mark within 5 years from the date the registration was granted or 5 years from the date the opposition was terminated. Also, “use” must be in a business scale and must occur in this jurisdiction. If the mark was registered in the European Union Trade Mark, use of the mark in any of the member state would suffice.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

The registered mark will be initially valid for 10 years computed from the date of application.

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Does having a registered trademark in Germany afford me any right?

To establish trademark rights, the owner is required to undergo registration. The “first to file” rule applies in Germany. Exception to this rule is famous marks that have already acquired a high level of reputation in doing business. Such marks are given protection even if these are not officially registered.

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Applicants are not mandated to use the mark or to intend to use the mark before applying for registration.

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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Owners of an earlier right can challenge your registration.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. Registration can be revoked on the grounds of: 

  • Non-use
  • Against morality or public policy
  • Bad faith
  • Generic or common terms
  • Geographical indication
  • Prior rights in personal name or patented designs
  • Breach of copyright
  • Proprietary rights
  • Descriptive, not distinctive, misleading, functional marks
  • Unauthorized use of protected flags, emblems or armorial bearings
  • Conflicts with rights of notorious marks and trade names
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. Owners of a registered mark in Germany secure the following: 

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to object to later conflicting application
  • Right to appeal for the revocation of a later conflicting registration
  • Right to file infringement charges against third parties that use confusingly similar mark
  • Right to obtain damages for infringement
  • Right to warrant or authorize third parties to use the mark
  • Right to appeal for the confiscation of counterfeit goods bearing the registered mark
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period will start on the publication date when the registration was granted and it will end three months after that date.

Basic Concepts
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a company’s products and services and distinguishes them from those of its competitors in the market. The name (the verbal element) is not the only component of a trademark—figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors, and sounds also create an identity that can be protected by trademark registration.

With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services, and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this trademark symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this service mark symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademark office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe best describe your business activity. 

Countries around the world have standardized 45 classes (34 for products and 11 for services) for international use under the Nice International Classification.

These classes group all known products and services. If applicable, you can register the same trademark in more than one class; for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23 and register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is, therefore, possible for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. If you feel that protection should extend to include more than one class, you can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business.

You can search for your trademark class with this Trademark Class Search tool.

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Do I have to specify the products and services?

Yes, you have. It is not possible to register trademarks that are too descriptive or generic. For example, you cannot register the term 'CAR' for automobiles. You also cannot register a trademark that is like other marks. For example, you cannot register a trademark like HAMASON as an online bookstore because it resembles the Amazon brand name.  

If you are unaware of which class or classes best protect your goods and services, we recommend you order the Trademark Study. Our experienced attorneys will review your product or service description and match it to the class or classes most for your business activity. 

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What is a priority claim and when can I use it?

A priority claim is an allowance based on Article 4 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. It enables you as the owner of a filed trademark to file subsequent trademark applications in any of the Convention’s signatory countries using the effective date of your first application as long as you file the subsequent applications within six months of your original trademark application.  That means if you apply for a trademark in Canada, five months later, you can apply for a trademark in France using the effective date of your Canadian application.

We strongly recommend that you submit your additional applications as soon as possible after your base application.  Many countries have strict requirements regarding the type of documentation required in order to claim priority (sometimes including legalization and translation of the original application). 

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What happens if oppositions or objections arise during the registration process?

The purpose of the Trademark Study is to assess the probabilities of objections and oppositions. If objections or oppositions arise, Nominus.com relies on experienced Trademark Attorneys that will guide you in the appropriate course of action.

Upon notification of an office action or opposition, we strive to:

  • Communicate the details of the action to you as quickly as possible.
  • Include future steps and possible arguments.
  • Monitor deadlines and explain the costs to prepare and submit a response, if applicable.
     
Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing whether or not they have the legal right to do so. They organize massive marketing campaigns with names they later find they’re not allowed to use. Performing a trademark search before deciding which trademark to register is a wise thing to do, especially when you consider future risks of litigation.  

It is a good idea to carry out some research before starting to do business with a trademark. It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  The other company may object to you using the trademark and legally prohibit you from doing so.

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What is a preliminary trademark search?

Your preliminary trademark search is an important first step before you spend time and money considering whether to apply for a potential trademark or not.

If you have trademark experience, you can use our free trademark search engine, or others like the TMView trademark search engine, to search for existing marks that are identical to your planned trademark. While preliminary trademark searches are a critical part of your registration process, a successful search that shows no conflicts with identical marks does not necessarily mean the Trademark Office will not reject your registration application. 

if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find professional help. Our company offers the service Trademark Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list identical and similar trademarks, and finally, it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you know a little about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend that you hire a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially the trademark search because the process is complex and relatively time-consuming.

Please note that if you don’t manage to complete the application process correctly, the registration can drag on for several months and end up costing far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace, given the increasing number of unregistered and common law trademarks. Globalization also raises the question of entering international markets and registering trademarks in foreign countries to protect both your brand and your property rights.

Please note that even a complete trademark search does not necessarily guarantee your trademark will be accepted and registered. A  Trademark Study includes an extended review process and, more significantly, a formal evaluation of the likelihood that your application will be successful.

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