A trademark is a personal name, a company name, a term, a logo, or a combination of these, which identifies a company, its goods, or its services. Marks of this kind that are associated with a specific manufacturer or supplier may for instance take the form of symbols, words, illustrations, audio signatures, color designs, or packaging.
Additionally, a company or a product name that has acquired a secondary meaning as a trademark due to its independent value can also be eligible for trademark protection.
A mark can be protected as a trademark by recording it in the register kept at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). As with patents, an application must be filed at the DPMA. For more information, please refer to the “Information for Trade Mark Applicants” fact sheet available at the DPMA website.
At present, the fee for trademark registration application and entry in the trademark register is around EUR 300.
Once trademark protection has been obtained, the owner of a trademark has an exclusive right to use the respective trademark. If the trademark has been registered, the owner can indicate this by placing ® (registered trademark) after the trademark. Protection is valid for a period of ten years and can then be extended for another ten years.