Trademarks can be found everywhere and affect our daily lives. This should emphasize the enormous economic importance of this nontechnical IPR. The term “trademark” refers to a symbol or a means for distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of another company. As means for distinguishing, trademarks may be words, slogans, pictures and symbols, colors, or 3-D forms.

The usage of a trademark on or in form of a product is often interpreted as a promise of quality to the consumer. It offers a company the opportunity to accentuate its products or services and, hence, to portray a certain reputation.

Trademark protection may be obtained in different ways and it may, in principle, be sustained without temporal limits. In order to sustain a trademark in a temporally unlimited way, its proprietor is obliged – possibly only after a qualifying or grace period – to also effectively use the trademark. Trademark protection may e.g. be obtained by national (e.g. with the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) or with US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)), regional (e.g. with the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM)) or international registration (with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)) of a sign or symbol (the trademark). Additionally, it is possible to extend an already existing national or regional protection almost worldwide by an international registration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

An existing trademark protection offers the possibility to assert and enforce claims against trademark violators with respect to omission, destruction and/or compensation for damages. Due to the substantial economic importance of trademarks, it may be crucial for a company’s success to have a trademark strategy considering both the prosecution and the enforcement of an owned trademark, as well as the elimination of distracting external trademarks.

We are happy to support you in the development and the realization of your individual trademark strategies.