Register trademark Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Marks which serve to distinguish the goods and services of a company from those of other companies can be protected as trade marks at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA).

In principle, a trade mark serves to identify the goods and services of a company. Protectable are signs which are suitable to distinguish goods or services of a company from those of other companies. These can be, for example, words, letters, numbers, illustrations, but also colours, movements, holograms, multimedia signs and sounds.

Trade mark protection is obtained by registering a trade mark in the register of the DPMA. To do this, you have to apply for the trade mark. However, trade mark protection can also arise if a sign is used intensively in business or is generally known. However, signs which lack any distinctive character or which merely describe the goods or services concerned (for example, the word "apples" for the product "fruit") are excluded from protection.

In addition to the classic individual trademark, there are two special trademark categories: The collective mark and the warranty mark.

  • In contrast to the classic trademark, which distinguishes goods and services of a certain company from those of other companies (individual trademark), a collective trademark indicates the origin of a product from an association. Accordingly, it is used by the members of the association. The owner of the collective mark is the respective association with legal capacity.
  • Warranty marks serve to indicate certain properties of the goods/services which are guaranteed by an independent party. They can also be used by several companies. The owner of a certification mark can be any natural or legal person who is not himself a manufacturer or trader of the goods or provider of the services.

The respective conditions of use are laid down in collective or certification mark statutes.

All the above-mentioned types of trademarks can be applied for as collective and certification marks. When you register a trademark, you acquire the exclusive right to use the trademark for the protected goods and services. You can sell or dispose of this trademark at any time or grant a right of use, a so-called trademark license, to your trademark.

A trademark can be renewed indefinitely. However, it will be removed from the register if you stop paying the renewal fee, which is due after every 10 years.

If you want to apply for an IP right, you can do it yourself. However, you can also get help from a patent attorney or lawyer. If you live outside Germany and have neither a registered office nor a place of business here, you must be represented by a legal practitioner or patent attorney admitted to practice in Germany.

Note: The DPMA examines your trade mark application for absolute grounds for refusal. However, it does not examine whether your trade mark infringes the property rights of third parties and whether it already exists in an identical or similar form. Therefore, before filing a trade mark application you should research whether the desired trade mark infringes the rights of third parties. Otherwise, an opposition may be filed against your trade mark before the DPMA and it may have to be cancelled. In addition, your trade mark may be the subject of a warning notice or legal action before civil courts.

  • Information enabling the identity of the applicant to be established
  • Representation of the mark and particulars of the form of the mark
  • list of goods or services in respect of which registration is sought

Forms: Application for entry of a trade mark in the Register

Online procedure possible: yes

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

Related Links

  • Antrag auf Eintragung einer Marke in das Register zum Herunterladen auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Software "DPMAdirektPro" zum Herunterladen auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Dienst zur Online-Anmeldung einer Marke "DPMAdirektWeb"
Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), Informations- und Dienstleistungszentrum Berlin

Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), Dienststelle Jena

Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), Zentraler Kundenservice


Preconditions

  • All signs, in particular words, letters, numerals, images, but also colours and combinations of colours, movements, holograms, multimedia signs, sounds and three-dimensional designs, including the shape of a product or its packaging and other get-ups, which are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others may be protected as trade marks.
  • There are no absolute grounds for refusal to register the mark, such as, inter alia:
    • lack of distinctive character,
    • descriptive indications to be kept free for general use,
    • an obvious likelihood of confusion,
    • an emblem contained in the mark, or
    • a violation of morality or public order.
  • If you are not resident in Germany and have neither a registered office nor a branch in Germany, you need a legal or patent attorney admitted to practice in Germany to represent you.

Related Links

  • Markengesetz (MarkenG)
  • Markenverordnung (MarkenV)

Related Links

  • Merkblatt mit Tipps zur Markenanmeldung auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Hinweise für die zügige Bearbeitung Ihrer Markenanmeldung auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Informationsbroschüre zum Markenschutz auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Informationen über lesbare Datenträger und Dateiformate bei Markenanmeldung auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Informationen zum Einreichen einer Markendarstellung auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Informationen zu den Anmelderangaben auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Kostenmerkblatt auf der Internetseite des DPMA
  • Zahlungshinweise für die Markenregistrierung auf der Internetseite des DPMA

You can apply for registration of a trade mark in writing or electronically: If you wish to apply for registration in writing:

  • Download the form online, print and fill it out and attach the required documents.
  • Submit the application documents to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA).
  • You will then receive an acknowledgement of receipt with the official file number.
  • Pay the application fee without being asked within 3 months from filing the application.
  • The DPMA will then examine whether your trade mark can be registered.
  • You may be requested to submit comments and to complete the application.
  • If all requirements are met, the trade mark will be registered and you will receive the registration certificate with the corresponding extract from the register.
  • Trademark protection comes into effect on the date of registration.
  • The registration will also be published in the official electronic trade mark journal.
  • The trademark protection ends 10 years after the end of the month in which the filing date falls. You can extend the protection right by 10 years as often as you wish for a fee.
  • If the examination reveals that there are grounds for refusal of your application, you will receive a written objection. If, after examination of your observations, these objections cannot be overcome, the application will be refused (in part, if necessary) by means of a decision. You can have this decision reviewed again by means of a reminder or appeal procedure, which is subject to a fee.

If you wish to apply for registration electronically:

  • You can file your application via the "DPMAdirektWeb" service, it will then be valid without signature and without electronic signature. You will be guided through the application in a few steps.
  • If you want to add a qualified electronic signature to your application, you can use the free service "DPMAdirektPro".
  • You will need
    • a signature card with the corresponding card reader,
    • the application software "DPMAdirektPro" to create and validate the application documents.
  • Transfer the application fee without being requested to do so.
  • You will then receive an acknowledgement of receipt with the official file number.

The DPMA will then check whether your trade mark can be registered.

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Last update or date of publication
10.03.2019