Luxembourg: Markenrechtsmodernisierungs-Gesetz in Kraft getreten

Last Updated: 21 January 2019
Article by Ronald Weede

Am 14. Januar ist in Deutschland das sogenannte Markenrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz (MaMoG) in Kraft getreten. Ohne viel Aufhebens verabschiedet sich die deutsche Praxis damit von einigen Besonderheiten des deutschen Markenrechts und sorgt für eine weitergehende Harmonisierung mit dem Recht der europäischen Unionsmarken.

Häufig liegt in Artikeln zu den markenrechtlichen Änderungen der Fokus auf neuen und besonderen Markenformen. Natürlich ist es reizvoll, darüber nachzudenken, inwiefern Geruchs- und Tastkennzeichen oder auch Bildanimationen als Marken herangezogen werden könnten. In der Praxis wird die Bedeutung dieser besonderen Markenformen jedoch vermutlich nach wie vor eher gering sein. Schon aus rein praktischen Gründen der Reproduzierbarkeit sind aus Sicht des Anwenders Wort- und Bildzeichen nach wie vor die Marken der Wahl.

Andere Änderungen dürften hingegen in der täglichen Arbeit weitaus größere Bedeutung haben. Das MaMoG bringt Anpassungen bei der Laufzeit der Marken sowie Änderungen im Widerspruchsverfahren und – ab dem nächstem Jahr – ein neues Löschungsverfahren. Die in Europa bereits eingeführten Gewährleistungsmarken – eine Form markenrechtlich ausgestalteter Gütesiegel - halten nun auch in das deutsche Recht Einzug. Die Berufung auf Markenrechte im Rahmen der Zollbeschlagnahme wird vereinfacht und die Abgrenzung zu geschäftlichen Bezeichnungen genauer definiert.

Für die tägliche Praxis halten wir die folgenden Punkte für besonders relevant:

Tagesgenaue Laufzeit

Eine kleine Änderung, die jedoch für Inhaber einer automatisierten Markenverwaltung von großer Relevanz ist: Während die Laufzeit einer Marke bisher zehn Jahre zum Monatsende betrug, wird die Laufzeit künftig – im Einklang mit der bisherigen Praxis in den meisten Staaten – tagesgenau berechnet. Für die bereits eingetragenen Marken ändert sich nichts; heute eingetragene Marken erhalten allerdings nur" noch eine Schutzdauer von genau zehn Jahren. Beginn der Laufzeit ist, wie auch bisher schon, der Tag der Anmeldung.

Kombinierte Widersprüche

Inhaber von Markenserien oder größeren Familien ähnlicher Marken standen bisher vor dem Problem, dass der Widerspruch vor dem DPMA nur auf ein einzelnes Recht gestützt werden konnte, so dass sich die Widerspruchsgebühr (und auch der Verwaltungsaufwand) entsprechend vervielfachten, wenn mehrere Rechte ins Feld geführt werden sollten. Auch künftig steigen zwar die Kosten mit der Anzahl der angeführten Widerspruchsmarken; allerdings erhöht sich die Gebühr pro zusätzlich zitierter Widerspruchsmarke nur um moderate 50 Euro, wobei alle Widerspruchsgründe in einem Verfahren abgehandelt werden.

Keine gleitende" Benutzungsschonfrist mehr

Mit der Reform entfällt eine unangenehme Besonderheit des deutschen Widerspruchsverfahrens: In bestimmten Konstellationen konnte es bislang darauf ankommen, die Benutzung der Widerspruchsmarke innerhalb eines Fünfjahreszeitraums vor dem Zeitpunkt der Widerspruchsentscheidung glaubhaft zu machen. Da sich Widerspruchsverfahren ohne Weiteres über Jahre hinziehen können, bestand bisher die Gefahr, dass Benutzungsnachweise, die etwas älteren Datums waren, während des Widerspruchsverfahrens unbrauchbar wurden, ohne dass hierzu irgendein Hinweis erging, was zu einem unerwarteten Verlust des Widerspruchs führen konnte. Künftig wird es einheitlich nur noch auf den Anmeldetag der Marke ankommen, gegen die sich der Widerspruch richtet.

Ausblick: Amtliches Löschungsverfahren

Nach Ablauf der Widerspruchsfrist können Dritte ihre eigenen Marken gegenüber einer neuen Markenanmeldung bisher nur im Wege einer gerichtlichen Löschungsklage durchsetzen. Künftig wird es auch in Deutschland hierfür ein amtliches Löschungsverfahren geben, wie es beispielsweise für europäische Marken bereits existiert. Da das Amt hierfür jedoch umfangreiche Vorbereitungen treffen muss, wurde das Inkrafttreten dieser Änderung bis Mai 2020 aufgeschoben.

Ganz generell wird der Schutzumfang für Markeninhaber tendenziell ausgeweitet, bzw. die Berufung auf die Marke erleichtert.

Sofern sich für unsere Mandanten praktische Auswirkungen ergeben, werden wir auf konkrete Änderungen hinweisen. Bei Fragen stehen Ihnen unsere Markenrechtsexperten von Dennemeyer & Associates jederzeit gerne zur Verfügung.

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.

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