A trade mark is used to distinguish goods or services of one person from those of others. Apart from trade marks, Germany also accepts collective marks and certification marks. Those signs which can be protected by the trademark law include: wording including personal names, designs, letters, numerals and noteworthy, acoustical signs and three-dimensional configurations. Appellations of geographical origins can be registered as well. Marks including national emblems, official test marks, signs of quality and identifications of international intergovernmental bodies, and those marks without distinction cannot be registered. Apart from registered trademarks, German trademark law also protects those marks which have acquired prominence through actual use in the course of trade, those well-known marks within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention, and those company symbols and titles of works which can be considered as trade designations.
In order to seek trademark registration, an application must be filed to the DPA in Munich. After examination, if the DPA considers that the application meets the prerequisites for registration, it shall arrange the publication if this mark on the Trademark Gazette (Markenblatt). A person claiming priority may oppose the registration within three months after publication.
Upon registration the owner is entitled exclusive right to use this mark on his products and may prohibit others from registering and using this mark for goods and services that are similar or identical to those for which he has registered his mark. The period of protection is ten years from the application date and upon expiration it can be extended for additional ten years periods without limitation. A trademark owner can assign or license his mark to other parties. If the proprietor of a registered mark fails to use the mark for five consecutive years, the mark can be removed from the Trademark Register upon cancellation action by a third party.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Your commercial negotiations have reached a certain stage. You now wish to record the main points and the basis on which you agree to proceed with the transaction in the form of Heads of Terms (also known as heads of agreement, memoranda of understanding, term sheets or letters of intent).
Franchising has been a means of commercialising products and services since the 1850s when Isaac Singer who had made improvements to an existing model of a sewing machine wanted to increase the distribution of his machines.
An amendment of the Polish Banking Law (the Banking Law) came into force more than two years ago, regulating delegating by Polish banks to third parties operations constituting part of a bank’s activity.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).