Besides patent law, trademarks are a core activity of our patent law firm. Our attorneys are proven experts in the field after our many years of service to our German as well as our international clients. Our client portfolio ranges from small and medium sized enterprises to international corporations, for each of which a customized concept is developed and implemented.
The key elements of our trademark advisory services extend from first consultation, which is especially of significance to small enterprises without own attorneys, to trademark registration and to the enforcement of trademark rights against infringers. We attach great importance all along to finding solutions which meet the specific needs and capabilities of our clients. Together with you, we will develop a protection strategy that suits you.
Our patent law firm files German, European as well as international trademark applications. When local representatives are required in certain countries, we have a tight network of colleagues internationally who are likewise experts in the field and strive for the best outcome for the client.
What We Do
Our services include
- Advising on trademark protection strategies
- Drafting lists of goods and services
- Conducting searches for earlier rights of third parties
- Filing and prosecuting trademark applications
- Monitoring registered trademarks
- Advising on agreements (i.e. co-existence or licensing agreements)
- Litigation, infringement proceedings
- Revocation/cancellation proceedings
It is important to build a protection strategy that caters for the client’s needs and ensures as broad a protection as possible within the financial capacity of the client. Thereby, we will consider your specific situation in the market, present and aimed-at, and propose means that suit your business activities as well as your financial background.
Among others, the following issues will have to be taken into account:
- The sign: Possible variants are words, pictures, letters, numbers, sound, three dimensional forms, colors and position trademarks.
- The goods and services: What does the client already offer in the market, what does he intend to offer over the next months, what is likely to be offered by the client within the next three to four years?
- The territory: In which countries is protection really needed? Is Germany sufficient or is protection further desired in another country, the whole European Union or selected countries worldwide?
- Search: Which already existent trademarks, company names, domains, titles can possibly oppose registration and use of the trademark?
- Cost: What can be achieved within a predetermined budget of the client?
The patent law firm Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP accompanies you from the first consultation through examination and up to forwarding the registration certificate to you. Based on your business field and in close cooperation with you,
- we will prepare a list of goods and services,
- file the application with the competent offices
- and prosecute the application through registration.
This is regardless of whether you wish for a German trademark, a Community trademark, an International Registration or a foreign national trademark. When local representatives are required in certain countries, we have a tight network of colleagues internationally who are likewise experts in the field and strive for the best outcome for the client. From taking over representation to forwarding the registration certificate to you, the patent law firm Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP remains your sole contact.
In most cases, trademark rights will be established by registration of a sign in the official trademark registry. Only from then, the rights that a trademark bestows upon its owner may be exercise against third parties. You will often notice that people assume that a trademark registration will generally and always help them to protect their own business activities – also with regard to third persons with earlier (intellectual property) rights. This is, however, not the case. In trademark law, the priority principle applies, meaning that whoever has the earliest right in a sign or trademark has the “better” right. Accordingly, a trademark may only protect the field of business of its owner against such infringements that occur after the trademark right is established.
On the contrary, it is possible, despite one’s own (registered) trademark, to infringe earlier rights of a third party which may lead to damage claims and claims to cease and desist. In order to prevent such situation, it is always recommendable to conduct a search for earlier rights that might be similar to one’s own application and, thus, pose a potential threat to the application or use of a sign.
The patent law firm Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP will be more than happy to inform you of the different possibilities to carry out a search for earlier rights. You just have to ask.
In case of infringement, we support you in enforcing of your claims against the infringer as well as indefending your rights against alleged claims.
We represent you in infringement proceedings before the German courts as well as in opposition and cancellation proceedings in national and international proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).
With the assistance of our tight international network of patent attorneys and lawyers, we may also help you with regard to proceedings in other countries.
Administration And Monitoring
Even after registration of your trademark, we offer our services with regard to maintaining your intellectual property right. The value of a registered trademark is defined by how it is managed and monitored.
We monitor the term of your trademark and will remind you in due time of its renewal. By request, we may also watch trademark registers for new applications that might be similar to your own and, thus, pose a potential threat to your business and your trademark rights. Relevant hits will be forwarded to you to decide upon the next steps. Of course, we will always be available to you for advice on how to proceed.
Trademark law explicitly protects work titles. Names or particular labels of
- print work (such as books, newspaper, magazines),
- cinematographic work (such as cinema movies, TV programs),
- sound work (such as music pieces, radio dramas, radio programs),
- stage entertainment or
- other comparable work (such as computer programs, computer games, multimedia products)
bestow upon the authorized user an exclusive right to use the title. Thus, the owner of the right is entitled to demand compensation and damages or a termination of the infringing actions from an illegitimate user of an identical or similar title that can easily cause confusion among the relevant public.
Title protection exists from the moment the title is first used. Even though it is not necessary to register the title to gain full protection, it still has to be distinctive or must otherwise have acquired a secondary meaning as a trademark.
Regardless of an actual use of the title, protection of a work may also be obtained by simply announcing the title in a so called “title protection notification” (Titelschutzanzeige), as long as the related work is published within a reasonable time frame afterwards.
Our attorneys provide consultation regarding the choice of an appropriate title, protectability of the title as well as drafting and publishing title protection notices.
- Trademark protection in Germany may result from registration or from mere use of a sign. In the latter case, it is to be determined in each individual case whether the extent of use is sufficient in order to establish trademark rights.
- A trademark only protects those goods and services for which it is registered and/or earnestly used in the market. In the context of a trademark application, drafting the list of goods and services is very important and should not only cover the current business area; possible emerging activities in the future should also be taken into consideration.
- German and Community trademarks do not have to already be present in the market upon application. In fact, the proprietor is granted a so-called grace period of five years during which he must start earnest use of the trademark for the registered goods and services. If he does not take advantage of this grace period, his trademark may be cancelled upon request of a third party after those five years as well as after any further period of five consecutive years of non-use.