Place your trust in an IP lawyer experienced in trademark registration, trademark searches, trademark monitoring and advice in the event of a dispute. Together with you, we will develop optimal strategies for your trademark protection. No matter whether you want to file a new trademark application with the trademark register or extend its protection: In the event of a dispute, we will be at your side and support you quickly and without complications. It will be our pleasure to act as your partner at every stage of the process.
Finding a catchy trademark is important, but anything but easy. A unique name, a stand-alone design - let's face it: there's nothing out there that doesn't already exist. Our advice seeks to find ways and means together with you to uniquely position and protect your trademark. We will also be glad to serve as your sparring partner.
Trademark protection does not stop at national borders. It's good to have experienced partners at your side in 120 countries. No matter what trademark question you may have: we will always find the right contact person for you in our partner network Nexia International.
Would you like to get together for a personal meeting to obtain advice? We would be happy to schedule a non-binding appointment with you so that we can get to know each other. We look forward to your call or e-mail and to meeting you.
Trademark law generally deals with the protection of trademarks and designations of services and goods in commercial transactions and is part and parcel of protection of industrial property rights. Trademark law sets out what a trademark is, under which conditions a trademark can be applied for and what protection registration of the trademark offers.
In principle, a trademark serves to label and identify the goods or services of a company. It is therefore a symbol that is suited for distinguishing the service and/or the goods of one company from those of another. Protected signs can be words, letters, numbers, images, colours, holograms, multimedia signs or even sounds.
In today's market, unique selling propositions and identifiers of goods and services are fiercely contested. If you do not protect your trademark, you run the risk that it will also be used by competitors and rivals. Moreover, trademarks often have a high intangible value for a company and for this reason alone warrant protection in today's competitive environment.
An application or registration of a trademark is filed with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) and can be filed either in electronic or paper form. After filing and review, the trademark is entered in the German Trademark Register, which can be accessed electronically.
A trademark owner holds the exclusive right to dispose of the trademark for the protected services and goods. Third parties can be prohibited from using an identical or confusingly similar marking. If someone makes unauthorised use of the trademark (trademark infringement), the trademark owner can issue a warning to this person and, if necessary, assert claims against any user who has been warned, including suing for injunctive relief, removal and, if necessary, damages. The protective effect begins on the day the trademark is registered and can be extended as often as desired for ten years at a time upon application and payment of a renewal fee.
With regard to the territorial scope of protection for a trademark, a distinction must be made between national trademarks, EU trademarks and international trademarks. The scope of protection for a national trademark only covers the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, whereas an EU trademark can provide protection in the 27 Member States of the European Union. An application for a so-called EU trademark is filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), on whose website more detailed information on the application procedure can be found under the rubric Online Services. The territorial scope of protection for international trademarks, also known as IR trademarks, actually covers a total of 97 member states. These are the states that are members of the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891) or the Protocol pursuant to the Madrid Agreement (1989). The actual application procedure for an IR trademark depends on whether a country is a member of the Madrid Agreement (MMA) and/or a member of the Protocol (PMMA). The most important requirement in filing an application is that the mark has been previously registered in the "home" country. This "basic trademark" must be applied for in the "home country", i.e. the country where the applicant has its company or residence. Alternatively, an EU trademark can be applied for. An application for an IR trademark is filed with the respective "home office", i.e. for a German applicant either at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) or at the EUIPO. This office then forwards the application to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.
First of all, an application must be filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) in a formally correct manner, without omission in terms of content and in due time. The trademark application must contain information that allows the identity of the applicant to be established. Furthermore, the trademark presentation, which cannot be subsequently changed, must in any case be included and must also indicate the trademark form being claimed including all classes and the precise subject matter of protection. The other special requirements for an application depend on the respective type of trademark and are explained in more detail on the said information sheet of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). In addition, the official application forms that must be filled in for an application can be found on the DPMA website under the rubric Service - Trademarks. As long as there are no absolute grounds for refusing an application, such as a lack of distinctiveness of the trademark or a violation of public mores or the public order, the trademark can be registered in the German Trademark Register.
An application for a national trademark for up to three classes in electronic form at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) costs € 290, and an application in paper form costs € 300. In addition, there may be a fee for an advisor. dhpg will be happy to agree on flat rates with you, depending on the number of classes, the scope of the search and the advice and whether national, European or more extensive trademark protection is desired.
If a company that is a trademark owner feels infringed, e.g. by an advertising campaign, it will issue a warning notice. As a rule, the aim of a cease-and-desist letter is for the recipient to issue a cease-and-desist declaration and to pay for the damages incurred. If you sign a cease-and-desist declaration, you must refrain from any further infringing activities and thus from committing any trademark infringements against the trademark owner. In most cases, the trademark owner will ask you to stop any ongoing campaign. You should not take a warning lightly and it is advisable to consult a specialist lawyer. He or she will advise you, contact the trademark owner, modify the cease-and-desist declaration if necessary and keep an eye on the necessary deadlines. If you have received a cease-and-desist letter for a trademark infringement, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will ensure that the matter is dealt with quickly and expediently.
The experts on trademark and competition law at dhpg will be happy to support you in designing your trademarks. Our services range from the search for a name to a similarity search and all the way to the registration of a trademark at the German and European Trademark and Patent Offices. We will also be happy to take charge of trademark monitoring and trademark defence for you in the event of a dispute. Feel free to contact us in the event you receive a cease-and-desist letter. You can rest assured we will provide you speedy help without any red tape. Based on clearly specified service packages, the budget will remain transparent for you at every point in the process.