For obtaining protection for a trademark, the trademark must be registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office. We guide you through the application process. The trademark will firstly be examined with respect to absolute grounds for refusal. Absolute grounds for refusal are for example trademarks that are devoid of any distinctive character or trademarks that are merely descriptive. If there are no absolute grounds for refusal the trademark is registered. During the examination procedure, the German Patent and Trademark Office does not take into account any earlier trademark rights or trademarks that are similar or even identical to the new trademark.
After the registration is published, holders of earlier trademark or company name rights can file an opposition against the registration of your trademark within a period of three months thereby requesting the cancellation of the new trademark for all or a part of the goods and services. If no opposition is filed, the registration of the trademark will become legally binding.
After registration, a trademark may be challenged by third parties by filing a request for trademark cancellation on the basis of “non-use” or by bringing an action for annulment before a district court. In order to avoid a cancellation of your registered trademark you have to put your trademark into genuine use within a period of five years after registration.
The protection period of a registered trademark is ten years and can be extended for another ten years as often as desired. All German trademarks are registered in the trademarks register. If you grant a license for your trademark or if you confer your trademark rights on third parties, we request recordal of these changes concerning your trademark in the trademark register.