Servicenavigation und Suchfeld

Trade Marks

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Required Data for Filing an Application

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You can file your trade mark application online (without signature), electronically (with a signature) or file a conventional paper-based application. For filing your application at the DPMA you can also appoint an agent as representative. In any case, you must provide certain minimum information on the applicant, on the desired trade mark as well as on the list of goods and services.

Data of the applicant

The applicant may be

  • a natural person (private individual)
  • a legal person
  • a partnership having legal capacity (Sec. 7 Trade Mark Act [Markengesetz])

The data on the applicant must include the name and address.

Types of trade marks and their representation

The following can be protected as a trade mark: words, letters, numbers, images, three-dimensional shapes, colours, holograms, multimedia signs, sounds, but also other signs. When filing a trade mark application, you must decide whether you want to register your trade mark as a

  • word mark
  • combined word/figurative mark
  • figurative mark
  • three-dimensional mark
  • colour mark
  • sound mark
  • position mark
  • tracer mark
  • pattern mark
  • motion mark
  • multimedia mark
  • hologram mark
  • other trade mark

Please find detailed descriptions of these marks and their representaton on the German site. Formal requirements are available in our German information leaflet pdf-Datei Wie reichen Sie die Darstellung einer Marke ein?

Normally, most of the trade marks applied for are filed as individual trade marks to distinguish the goods and services of one company from those of other companies. However, there are also all of the above-mentioned types of trade marks in the trade mark categories of certification marks and collective marks.

Other: collective mark and certification mark

In contrast to the classical trade mark, which distinguishes goods and/or services of a certain company from those of other companies (individual trade mark), a collective mark is an indication of the origin of a product from an association. It is used accordingly by the members of the association. The proprietor of the collective mark is the respective association having legal capacity.

Certification marks serve to refer to certain characteristics of the goods/services certified by an independent body. They can also be used by several companies. Any natural or legal person who is not a producer/trader of the goods or the supplier of the services may be the proprietor of the certification mark.

The respective conditions of use are laid down in the regulations governing use of a collective mark or a certification mark.

All the above mentioned types of goods can be applied for as collective marks and certification marks.

Five facts that you have to know

1. The illustration of the trade mark is an obligatory component of the trade mark application; it must clearly and accurately represent the trade mark!
2. The scope of protection and the chosen type of trade mark must be clearly recognisable, otherwise you may not be able to secure the date of filing of your trade mark application as the filing date!
3. File a trade mark application which shows your trade mark exactly as it is intended to be protected because you cannot change the representation of your trade mark subsequently!
4. By no means should you add an ® to the trade mark illustration when you file the application because the application might be in danger of being refused due to a possible risk of deceiving the public, pursuant to Section 8(2) no. 4 of the Trade Mark Act!
5. Use your registered trade mark, because if you do not use it within a period of five years after registration and regularly also after that period for the goods and services claimed! Ohterwise it may be cancelled, upon request or legal action because of revocation!

List of goods and services

Trade marks are registered for specific goods and/or services. You must exactly specify the goods and/or services for which you intend to use the trade mark. Therefore, your application must contain a list of the intended goods and/or services. All goods and services are divided into 45 classes. More information on preparing a list of goods/services, the leading class and additional class fees is available in "Detailed Information Regarding the List of Goods and Services".

Searching for goods and services

eKDB (TMclass)
MGS (WIPO)
Nice Classification

Important: After having filed an application with the DPMA, you can no longer extend the list of goods and services. However, limitations are possible anytime.

Picture: iStock.com/LDProd

Last updated: 16/08/19 

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