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Introduction to Germany Trademark Registration System

Introduction to Germany Trademark Registration System

Official Office for Trade Mark Registration

Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA)

Joined International Treaties for Trade Marks

Paris Convention; Madrid Agreement; Madrid Protocol; Trademark Law Treaty; Singapore Treaty

Principle on Trade Mark Protection

Germany adopts "first-to-file" for trademark protection, and the Trade Mark Law of Germany protects both the registered trademarks and un-registered marks (Commercial designations).

If a registered trademark is used by someone else without authorization and/or license, the trademark owner can simply take an infringement action.

Un-registered marks are protected against newer identical or confusingly similar trademarks and commercial designations only from the date on which they acquire a sufficient degree of public recognition in the specific German market. These requirements must be proved by opinion polls conducted in accordance with requirements established by precedent.

Kinds of Registrable Trade Marks

In Germany, the term “trade mark?includes word mark, device mark, 3D shape mark, color mark, their combination, and non-conventional trademarks, such as smell mark, sound mark and color per se mark.

In addition, there are special trademarks are enacted and protected, such as “collective mark?

Required Information and Documents

1. Applicant’s name, address, nationality / company’s registered country;
2. Specimen of the mark to be applied;
3. List of goods/services to be applied, and the class(es);
4. Translation & transliteration of foreign language in the mark; and
5. Priority document, if any.

Timeframe and Procedure for Application

If an application goes smoothly, the whole registration procedure takes about 6-8 months.

A trademark application in Germany usually takes around 2-4 month for examination, if there is no any refusal, it will then publish for 3 months for opposition purpose. If no opposition is filed, a registration certificate will be issued within 1 month after the end of publication.

Duration and Renewal of Registration

A trade mark registration in France is valid for 10 years from the date of application, which can be renewed every 10 years, from 6 months before the renewal due date or up to 6 months after the date expires.

Cancellation System

If a registered trademark has not been actual used in Germany by the owner or with his consent, in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered, for a continuous period of at least 5 years, and there are no valid reasons for non-use, any third party can apply for revocation to cancel/remove the registration.

Relevant Information

Germany Trademark Registration Costs and Procedures

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