When considering combining a high recognition factor and quality with a product without losing sight of the commercial aspect the registration of a Trademark is the suggested solution. In general a Trademark serves the purpose of individualization. A certain word, symbol, melody or color often relates to a certain product. Not only does an association with the company which produces the product occur but also in most cases a specific impression or sensation. For a manufacturer of oral hygiene it can be the sensation of freshness or for an automobile manufacturer the impression of dynamics and speed.
The registration process of a Trademark usually follows its course through the German Patent and Trademark Office. The priority period of a Trademark counts six months from the registration date. It is important to note however, that the register of goods and services needs to be formulated most precisely for the scope of protection to be accurate. The Patent and Trademark Office only assesses the Trademark to be registered regarding direct registration obstacles. An examination of possible conflicting Trademarks is not performed. The receipt of the registration documents counts for the registration day.
In order for a Trademark to be protected it needs to fulfill certain essential criteria. The Trademark has to always represent a connection between a good and a service and a symbol and must not violate the public moral and order. It cannot exclusively serve a descriptive service, cannot contain indications of value, quantity or heritage and is not allowed to originate in common parlance. This procedure ensures, that no symbol or word is registered, which needs to be available to the market, contain delusive contents or cannot be seen as a distinctive feature by an evaluating audience.
A Trademark ownership extents over a period of ten years and can be renewed as required. If a Trademark however is not executed over a period of 5 years the cancellation may be ordered by third parties. Furthermore, following the registration of a Trademark, a three month probation period is initiated in order for third parties or prior registrants to enter an objection. If the objection is successful, a cancellation or limitation of the Trademark can be induced. Also, a Trademark can be cancelled for invalidity if additionally detected absolute registration obstacles occur. If only a partial invalidity arises, the cancellation only affects the invalid part. The cancellation of a Trademark may be summoned at any time by the Trademark holder through submitting a cancellation request.
Regarding Matthias Rößler:
Matthias Rößler, German and European Patent Attorney since 2003, studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen. He is co-founding partner of karo IP. A main focus of his practice is the management of large patent portfolios and the enforcement of bilateral litigation proceedings before patent offices and patent courts. His additional qualification as Master of Laws (LL.M.) qualifies him especially for multinational infringement matters in Europe.