Trademark Application - Benefits and Costs
All over the world, renowned companies are recognized above all by their brand. They have successfully branded to differentiate themselves from their competitors and keep their customers in mind. Already when founding a company it can make sense to create a trademark for a product or a service and to register the corresponding trademark protection. A trademark application protects your innovations, the quality of your products or services and your investments from your competitors. This gives you a certain edge on the market - after all, your brand is an asset in every respect that needs to be protected. For this purpose, you can apply for a trademark application. In the following we would like to give you as your expert in trademark law a handful of tips so that you can successfully apply for trademark protection.
Register Trademark: Intellectual Property and Industrial Property Rights
The concept of intellectual property and industrial property rights also includes the term 'trademark'. Basically, a brand describes a product or a service. It may consist of colors, numbers, words, letters or illustrations. Even acoustic signals can fall under trademark protection. Within the framework of a trademark application, you can have the special characteristics of your trademark protected from your competitors. There are different possibilities open to you because you can register not only the logo (picture mark) or the company name (word mark) but also an advertising slogan. Even a three-dimensional design may, under certain conditions, become a trademark. The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) or the European Patent Office (EUIPO) are your contact partners, depending on where you wish to file your trademark application. There are certain costs involved. The costs that arise when you are dunned because of trademark infringement or the costs that result from the fact that your "trademark product" is simply reproduced are many times higher.
Should your competitors misuse the trademark rights of your registered trademark in good faith or maliciously, you may not only prohibit the culprit from using the trademark by issuing a warning - you may also assert claims for information and possibly damages. A registered trademark is automatically protected in the entire area of application - for example, if you register with the DPMA, you are protected throughout Germany. If, on the other hand, you file your trademark application with the European Patent Office, you automatically enjoy protection throughout Europe. The scope of protection of your trademark is determined by the application with the so-called list of goods and services by means of certain classes for products and further classes for services. Click here to go to the German register: https://www.dpma.de/recherche/dpmaregister/index.html. The European register can be found here: https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/.
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Trademark Application at the DPMA or EUIPO: Online or by Post
If you decide to register your trademark, certain fees will apply. As mentioned above, trademark applications in Germany are filed through the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). But it is also possible to register at European or international level. In Germany, trademark applications can be filed either by post or via an online form. You must provide as much information about your trademark as possible - otherwise, you may not be able to pay the costs involved. The entry in the list of goods and services is particularly tricky: Here there are 45 classes of goods and services from which you must choose the one that suits you best. There may be some research involved. As soon as you have submitted your details, your trademark application will be examined by the German Patent and Trademark Office. If absolute grounds for refusal exist, no trademark application will be filed, or the application will be rejected. This may be the case if your wordmark is descriptive and your mark is devoid of distinctive character. The fees for the trademark application, which costs about 300 Euro in total, will not be refunded. Because registration can sometimes take a little longer, an accelerated examination of the application is also offered. It costs 200 Euros extra. An information sheet of the DPMA, which should answer all basic questions, can be found here: https://www.dpma.de/docs/formulare/marken/w7731.pdf.
Register Trademark: Do a Trademark Search First!
Once your application has been filed and subsequently registered, you are protected for exactly ten years - but you can have the protection extended for a fee. In contrast to patents, trademarks can be renewed as often as desired. That is why there is, of course, an incredibly large number of registered trademarks at the DPMA. Please also bear in mind that your application will not be examined by the DPMA itself for possible earlier trademarks, i.e. whether existing industrial property rights are infringed. Proprietors of earlier trademarks can file an opposition against your application within three months of having your trademark applied for. If the opposition is successful, the trademark registration is canceled, and the trademark application is invalid. Even then, you will not be refunded the fees for the trademark application. It is therefore essential to carry out a trademark search, at least an identity search, but better still a similarity search. It may, therefore, be worthwhile to hire an experienced patent attorney to handle the application. This not only saves you time but also money in the long run because you don't have to reckon with any unsuccessful trademark applications. In addition, you don't have to invest any effort in the time-consuming research - your lawyer will relieve you of this work. Even in the event of a warning, your lawyer is at your side.
Trademark Registration: Comprehensive and Reliable
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to do a trademark search before filing. Because nothing is more annoying than to revise your own brand three times and to pay the resulting costs several times in vain. In addition, you will also invest a lot of money in marketing your product and then you should not be sent a warning if possible, because your brand already exists in identical form, for example. Of course, a trademark search is not an absolute guarantee that you will not come into conflict with existing trademark protection, but the risk is significantly reduced. One of our tips is, therefore, to go directly to the lawyer for your trademark application, who can advise you comprehensively and reliably in all questions concerning trademark applications. If you would like to register your brand, we would be pleased to hear from you. We will be pleased to answer all your questions, doubts and concerns regarding searches, trademark applications, and trademark protection.