We will gladly respond to all your questions. Find answers to frequently asked questions below.

In trademark law, the basic rule is “first come, first served” and “first served has the better right.”

As soon as your company or your products become (better) known, this is usually the time when you are attracting the attention of “free riders.” If you have not registered your product name or logo as a trademark, you will generally be unable to prevent their use by free riders or you will even be forced to change your names if a free rider registers the trademark faster than you.

Obviously, it is not foreseeable at what point a third party will get the idea to register or use your name. It is therefore recommendable to register your product name and your company name as soon as you have made the decision to use them.

A registered trademark gives you a monopoly so that you alone can decide who may use your trademark for certain products and services.

You may register your trademark yourself. For German trademarks, you only need a lawyer as domestic representative if you do not live in Germany or do not have your place of business in Germany. But whether the trademark has been correctly registered and actually provides the protection you are hoping for only becomes apparent when it is enforced. Accordingly, it is advisable to have a lawyer who is regularly handling trademark enforcement cases apply for a trademark.

It is essential to have an overview of third-party rights that you may be infringing or that may be infringing your trademark. This is important before you start using your trademark or filing an application with the Trade Mark Office, but also after your trademark has been registered.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office and the EU Intellectual Property Office do not examine whether your application infringes the earlier rights of third parties. They also do not inform you if third parties apply for a trademark that infringes your trademark. You have to perform your own research.

If trademarks are infringed, trademark owners may assert various claims, including the right to claim damages. This frequently requires costly warning letters and/or legal proceedings.

If you fail to take action against trademarks that are identical or similar to your trademark, its scope of protection will become ever weaker.

A trademark search therefore serves to protect you against third-party claims and to defend your own trademark against third parties. A lawyer specializing in trademark law will be able to support you in this endeavor.

A trademark protects the designation of goods or services of a company. Such a designation can, for example, consist of a name, an artificial word or a logo.

Therefore, when applying for a trademark, you must indicate the goods and services for which you wish to enjoy protection (list of goods and services).

Your trademark will allow you to take action against third-party designations whose name or logo is identical or similar to yours and which are used for identical or similar goods/services in commercial trade.

When registering a trademark, you are listing the products and services for which your trademark is to be protected.

This is referred to as the list of goods and services and must meet certain formal criteria. In particular, the specified goods and services must be categorized by classes in accordance with the Nice Classification.

The Nice Classification comprises 34 classes for goods and 11 for services. The Classification is a tool to group similar goods and services and to enable searches for trademarks registered for specific goods and services.

The list of goods and services is decisive for the scope of protection of a trademark.

The costs of a trademark application via MARKENSCHUTZ ONLINE consist of the fees of the respective trademark office and the rates of the various service packages. The official fees are as follows:

German trademark application:

  • Application in up to 3 classes: € 290.-
  • Application in each additional class: € 100.-
  • Accelerated examination: € 200.-

EU trademark application:

  • Application in first class: Class € 850.-
  • Application in second class: Class € 50.-
  • Application in each additional class: € 150.-

A trademark grants protection only in the country where it is registered, e.g. a German trademark grants protection in Germany only.

Trademark application and registration in the relevant countries are required for your trademark to be protected abroad. There are several ways to register your trademark in a foreign country.

Registration of a European Union Trade Mark provides protection in (currently) 27 Member States of the EU. By registering national trademarks abroad or an international trademark, you decide individually which countries are of interest to you. An international trademark allows you to choose from some 100 countries.

The period from trademark application to trademark registration varies. Among other things, it depends on whether the trademark office issues an objection to the application. If a request for accelerated examination is filed when applying for a German trademark or if the requirements of the FAST TRACK procedure are met for an EU Trade Mark application, German trademarks may be registered in two months and EU Trade Marks in four months.

The trademark is initially protected for ten years. After that, the protection period of a trademark may be renewed as often as desired for an additional ten years at a time.

A warning letter is sent when another party asserts that you are infringing their trademark or other commercial designation (for example, their trade name or company symbol) and usually demands from you not only an injunction but also damages.

The assessment of whether trademark infringement has occurred requires the weighing of various aspects. In particular, it depends on the registered trademark and for which goods/services it has been registered. In addition, it is relevant how you have used the trademark. This is a case-by-case examination for which you should consult a specialized lawyer with sufficient experience in IP law. Please note that the deadlines set in a warning letter frequently may not be extended without further action and that legal action is often initiated very quickly after the deadline has expired without any reaction.

For additional information see our FAQ or our Trademark Glossary.

For additional information see our FAQ or our Trademark Glossary.

Trademark Glossary
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We will also advise and represent you in the event of trademark infringements, warnings, coexistence agreements, licensing
or any other issues relating to intellectual property rights.

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Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff

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