Patentanwälte Riechelmann und Carlsohn

Trade Mark Rights

Basic principles: Trademarks are used to label goods and services. A trademark enables the customer to relate the labelled goods and services with a certain firm. The registered trademark is protected for 10 years, starting with the date of the first application. The design right may be renewed as often as desired. For the registration at the German Patent and Trademark Office the trademark has to meet a series of requirements. For example, the trademark must be distinctive and descriptive of the goods or services and mustn't be generic or mislead the customer in any way.

Besides a registered trademark, protection is delivered by unregistered trademarks that acquire a certain degree of recognition among interested circles ("Verkehrsgeltung"). The Trademark Act protects trademarks and commercial names, for example: business names, signs or titles of creative works.

Procedure: For the trademark application you need a List of Goods and/or Services for which the trademark will be used. . On the basis of the indicated goods and services the Patent Office determines what type of class fee you have to pay.

After submission of the documents, the Patent Office examines if there are absolute or unconditional bars to the registration of the trademark. If there are no bars, the trademark is registered and published. However, owners of older trademarks may file opposition against the registration of the trademark, if they think that their trademark rights have been infringed upon. In a protest procedure the Patent Office decides if that is the case. Because of this, the owner of the trademark is asked to present his opinion. At the conclusion of the protest procedure a decision is made whether the trademark can either stay in the Register or has to be removed partially or completely from it.

What we can do for you: We work out the List of Goods and/or Services for your trademark registration. Then we examine if there are absolute or unconditional bars to the registration of your trademark. We take care that your trademark is protected nationwide or worldwide for a reasonable price.

After the application for the trademark rights at the Patent Office, we help you to obtain the registration and support you during the protest procedure. After the registration of the trademark, we survey if third parties, for example, competitors, apply for trademarks which are similar to yours.