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.
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.
Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
A simple scanned power of attorney is required.
Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
No. There are no benefits from pre-filing use.
Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?
Yes. Non-use of a registered mark can result to cancellation of registration.
What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Germany?
Marks that can be represented clearly and can make a product or service distinguishable from others are allowed for registration:
- Trade dress
- Shapes with 3 dimensions
What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Germany?
The sequence of the application procedure is as follows:
Examination – Elements of the application are examined such as compliance to trademark requirements, classes of good/service, clarity of description, and deceptiveness.
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.
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.
What type of trademark is non-registrable?
Some marks are prohibited by this jurisdiction to be registered:
- Marks that are incompatible with Germany’s moral standards or marks that oppose public order
- Terms that have a broad meaning (generic words)
- Marks that use symbols, names or flags of regions, states, nations and international organization without permission from proper authorities
- Marks that do not display distinctive characteristics
Does Germany use the "Nice Classification" system?
The Nice Classification system is used in Germany only as a general guide.
Does the Community Trademark apply for Germany?
Yes. Germany is a member of the European Union and EUTM (European Union Trade Mark) registration system is effective in this jurisdiction.
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
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.
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.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
You have to renew your mark 10 years from the date you filed your application.
Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?
Yes. You may legally use an unregistered trademark for selling goods or services.
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.
What is the web address of the trademark national office?
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.
What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?
Acceptable grounds for opposition include:
- A similar or identical mark was registered earlier by another person or company
- A well-known mark was copied or if it looks almost the same as a notorious mark
- The mark was registered in the agent’s name or a representative of the owner of the mark
- Rights against trade names are violated
- Absolute grounds such as deceptiveness, descriptiveness, non-distinctiveness, etc.
- Violation of prior rights such as rights to a copyrighted material, personal name, patented design, etc.
Who can contest my trademark registration?
Owners of an earlier right can challenge your registration.
Is it possible to cancel a registration?
Yes. Registration can be revoked on the grounds of:
- 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
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
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.
Is Germany a member of the Madrid System?
Yes. Germany is a signatory of the international treaties, Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol.
Do I need to present periodic statement of use?
No. It is not mandatory to submit a periodic statement of use or any filing that would set forth the use of the mark.
When should I renew my trademark?
Succeeding renewals must be done every 10 years.
What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
You have to renew your mark 10 years from the date you filed your application.
Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?
No documentation is necessary since paying the renewal fee is enough.
If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?
If the registration is already expired, you are still given 6 months to renew it.
What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through 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 symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.
What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?
There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.
A patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.
You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.
Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:
- a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
- b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
- c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
- d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
- e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.
A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.
What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?
You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.
- TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
- SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
- ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
- ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
- Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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 are best describe your business activity.
There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the "Nice International Classification".
These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics.
Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes. It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use the identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.
You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search
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? In the United States, under what common law, people can lay claim to a mark if they use it. It is not necessary to formally register a trademark. This fact and the sovereignty states have over the creation of chartered business entities and trade names, makes a trademark search imperative before one spends time and money registered a trademark.
Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation.
It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing 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. That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.
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 free online resources like our Trademark Searchengine, or the Trademark Electronic Search System(TESS) offered to the public by the US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) 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 show 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 a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
How do I perform a trademark search?
First, we recommend your start by defining the class you want to register. You can find your class, using our Trademark Class Search tool. Using this tool you enter your product/service, and it will tell you the class or classes you should register.
After you have found your class(es), you can go directly to your country's Trademark Office and perform the search there. You can also try our Trademark Search engines.
When searching, try different combinations of your name. For example, if you are searching for AMAZON, look for AMASON, HAMAZON, or similar word patterns. Try several different combinations of words and spellings.
Notice that several countries do not have online trademarks databases. You must go to local Trademark Office and ask for a list of trademarks.
Trademark Search may be challenging and time-consuming and, if you do not have the time or experience, our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where you might want to register your trademark, it will also include a list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?
No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.
Where can I perform a trademark search?
If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using our Trademark Search engine. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Marcaria.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.
Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended many months and cost 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 marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.
You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Marcaria.com Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.