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Trade Marks

Trade marks are signs that identify goods and services. They are used to distinguish the goods and services of one company from those of another company.

Trade marks may be words, logos, or a combination thereof. In addition, three-dimensional presentations can also be protected as trade marks.

A prerequisite for the registration of a sign as a trade mark is that there are no absolute grounds for refusal. Signs cannot be registered if they describe the claimed goods or services based on their nature, quality, or other properties and features.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) does not verify whether there is a risk of confusing a sign with other older trade marks.

The lifetime for the protection of a trade mark in the European Union and in Germany is 10 years initially, but it can be extended as often as desired.

Trade marks can be registered nationally or across Europe. Therefore, a sign can be protected as a European Union trade mark via the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) within the European Union as a whole.

It is also possible to register trade marks internationally with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The international registration is equal to many national registrations.

Read more about intellectual property rights by trademarks in our "FAQ" >>

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