Trademark law regulates the monopolization of trademarks for a certain territory (e.g. Germany or Europe). The essential regulations are stipulated in the German Trademark Act (MarkenG) and in the Community Trademark Directive (GMV) at a European level. For other countries, the respective national regulations in the trademark law are definitive. Trademark law has essential meaning for almost all companies, as it assures the distinctiveness of a company’s own goods and services from those of other companies. and thus also enables the identification of the company itself. Trademark laws facilitate the permanent use, protection, and defense of investments in a company’s branding.
In doing so, a trademark is used to label goods and services by origin, the company trademark for naming a company and the work title is the special designation for printed titles, films, musical works, and similar works. The trademark also has an attention-creating, advertising, and communication function, which can be of essential importance for the company as well.
As probably the most relevant right in trademark law, the trademark can be protected for an unlimited time with the corresponding extensions and use, contrary to all other commercial protective rights. Trademark protection is normally obtained by application and registration at the respective trademark office.
Even before applying for a trademark, thought should be given to the correct trademark strategy, as often this is the deciding factor with regard to the effectiveness of the trademark protection, and thus the success of a product and the manufacturer.
It should therefore be determined in advance whether there are potential trademark protection obstacles and any prior conflicting trademarks or brands to prevent problems in the application process or a claim from being filed due to a trademark violation. Former holders of rights may also file an appeal against the application. A trademark can also be revoked, even after successful registration, after all. In order to assert corresponding rights with respect to newer trademarks and to defend the trademark as required by law, trademark monitoring should also be performed in order to defend oneself early on against very similar trademarks.
Once in force, the trademark assures the owner the sole right to use it commercially or to license it to third parties. Furthermore, the transfer of trademarks is a regular topic, primarily within the scope of business transfers where due diligence of commercial protective rights can be the decisive argument for or against a company takeover. Often, the existing trademarks and brand names make up the value of a company.
Infringements of trademark law can be effectively defended through official warning letters, temporary injunctions, and other instruments, and demands to cease-and-desist, disclose information, compensation claims, elimination of the issue, and the compensation of lawyers’ fees. Criminal enforcement measures and seizures by customs during import and export of disputed goods are also possible.
Specialized, legal support is therefore recommended to avoid such difficulties and uncertainties of trademark law, and to effectively protect trademarks as well as other brands.
Our expertise in trademark law
Our law office has numerous specialized lawyers with extensive expertise in trademark law. We advise our clients in all issues relating to trademarks and brands. We register trademarks in Germany, Europe, and the rest of the world, conduct any necessary appeal or complaint/proceedings, and monitor registered trademarks. We also support our clients in all trademark disputes, both in Germany and abroad, from defending our client’s own trademark or brands to claims by other companies. To this end, we can rely on established international contacts, experts, and networks as and when required. Last but not least, the design of license agreements and the implementation of due diligence reviews round off our trademark services.