Trademark law is indispensable for every entrepreneur to make his business operations as well as products and services (re-)recognisable to consumers. Only with a strong trademark does the entrepreneur create a profile for himself and can thus successfully distinguish himself from the competition. The German Trademark Act (MarkenG) offers every trader, with certain restrictions, the possibility to monopolise a certain designation for himself and his goods/services. At the European level, this protection is ensured by the EU Trade Mark Regulation.
We register German trade marks, EU trade marks and international trade marks for you, secure priority abroad and, with the help of our worldwide network of highly specialised advisors in trade mark law, also coordinate trade mark applications across and outside Europe, namely at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
However, the main focus of trade mark law is not only the registration of a trade mark, but above all its defence when competitors attach themselves to the good reputation and thus threaten to dilute the trade mark. To this end, the law provides the trade mark owner with numerous instruments, which we use effectively on your behalf. These include interim injunctions, actions to cease and desist and for damages as well as customs seizures
In the case of trade mark infringements on the internet, the trade mark owner may generally choose the court of jurisdiction from which he expects the greatest success. We have long experience in trademark disputes, which enables us to make a well-founded assessment of which court can effectively enforce your rights. The same applies if you have been warned yourself and need an effective defence strategy – be it in the form of a negative declaratory action or by way of a counter-warning.
Facets of trademark law
- Protection of distinctive signs (trade mark, EU trade mark, international trade mark, collective mark, geographical indication, business designation, company name, work title, company mark, internet domain, event marks).
- Trade mark application and registration (German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), EUIPO, absolute and relative grounds for refusal; need for availability, priority, distinctiveness)
- Trade mark licensing (drafting of contracts for granting licences)
- Rights conferring and rights maintaining use (compulsory use, grace period, reputation)
- Assertion of and defence against claims under trademark law (injunction, information, destruction, recall, damages)
- Likelihood of confusion and protection against confusion (image transfer, exploitation of and damage to reputation, disparagement, trademark parody, metatags, Google Adwords and keywords, parallel importing)
- Procedural strategies (warning, cease-and-desist declaration, preliminary injunction, border seizure, final declaration, protective letter, injunction action, negative declaratory action, application for cancellation and action for cancellation, plea of forfeiture, abuse of rights)