Trademarks—Germany—Q&A guide
Trademarks—Germany—Q&A guide

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trademarks—Germany—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the primary legislation governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?
  • 2. Which international trademark agreements has your jurisdiction signed?
  • 3. Which government bodies regulate trademark law?
  • 4. Who may apply for registration?
  • 5. What may and may not be protected and registered as a trademark?
  • 6. Can trademark rights be established without registration?
  • 7. Is a famous foreign trademark afforded protection even if not used domestically? If so, must the foreign trademark be famous domestically? What proof is required? What protection is provided?
  • 8. What are the benefits of registration?
  • 9. What documentation is needed to file a trademark application? What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application? Is electronic filing available? Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to trademarks in Germany published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2020).

Authors: Beiten Burkhardt—Tanja Hogh Holub

1. What is the primary legislation governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?

The relevant law is the German Trademark Act, which came into force in January 1995 and was last amended in January 2019. On 14 January 2019, the new Trademark Law Modernisation Act (MaMoG) entered into force. With this law, Germany transposes Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of 16 December 2015 on trademarks into German law. In addition, MaMoG strengthens the rights of trademark holders and stays abreast of new technical developments.

2. Which international trademark agreements has your jurisdiction signed?

The most relevant international trademark agreements are:

  1. the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property;

  2. the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights;

  3. the Madrid Agreement;

  4. the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement;

  5. the Nice Agreement;

  6. the Vienna Agreement;

  7. the Arrangement of Madrid for the Prevention of False Indications of Origin on Goods;

  8. the Trademark Law Treaty;

  9. the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks; and

  10. the World Intellectual Property Organisation Convention.

3. Which government bodies regulate trademark law?

The German Patent and Trademark Office is the central authority in the field of IP rights protection.

4. Who may apply for registration?

Any natural person, legal entity

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