Register Your Trademark in Germany in Five Steps
- Understand the Importance of Trademark Registration
A trademark serves as a unique identifier for your products and/or services, distinguishing them from those of your competitors. Registering your trademark grants you exclusive rights to use the mark in Germany, protects your brand’s reputation, and offers legal remedies against potential infringement.
- Conduct a Trademark Availability Search
Before diving into the registration process, it is essential to conduct an extensive trademark search to ensure that your desired mark is not already registered or too similar to existing trademarks.
- Determine the Trademark Classes
The Nice Classification System categorizes goods and services into 45 distinct classes. You need to identify the classes that align with your business activities to ensure your trademark registration covers the whole range that is needed.
- Prepare and File the Trademark Application
The application should contain details such as the applicant’s name, address, a clear representation of the mark, and a list of goods and services covered by the trademark.
- Trademark Registration
If there are no oppositions filed or you successfully overcome the opposition period, the DPMA will register your trademark.
How much does a German Trademark cost?
Registering a trademark in Germany involves various costs, including official fees, attorney fees, and potential additional expenses. It is important to understand these costs upfront, to budget accordingly. While the exact fees may vary depending on the complexity of the application and the services you require, below is a general overview of the costs involved in a German trademark registration.
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) charges official fees for filing a trademark application. The fees can vary depending on factors such as the number of classes, the filing method, and the type of application. As of the time of writing, the electronic registration of a trademark with three classes would be €290.00.
Our fees vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the application and the scope of services required. We charge an hourly rate that we will discuss with you upfront. You can then decide whether you want us to file a simple or an extended trademark application. In the case of a simple trademark application, we draw up the list of goods and services with you and check the trademark application for absolute grounds for refusal. In the case of an extended trademark application, we also carry out a comprehensive collision check in order to minimize the risk of oppositions and cease and desist letters.
Trademarks in Germany must be renewed regularly to maintain their validity. Renewal fees are applicable every ten years, and the current fee for renewing a trademark for up to three classes is €750.
It is important to note that the costs mentioned here are general estimates and can vary depending on specific circumstances.
Overview of the Procedure at the DPMA (German Trademark Office)
DPMA Examination and Publication
Upon filing, the DPMA will conduct an examination to assess the eligibility of your trademark for registration. This includes assessing the mark’s distinctiveness and similarity to existing trademarks. If the DPMA identifies any issues or objections, it will issue an official notification outlining the grounds for refusal.
After the examination phase, the DPMA will publish your trademark application in the German Trademark Gazette. This publication opens a three-month opposition period, during which interested parties may oppose the registration of your trademark. If any oppositions are filed, your attorney will handle the necessary legal proceedings and represent your interests throughout the opposition process.
If no oppositions are filed or successfully overcome during the opposition period, the DPMA will register your trademark. You will receive a certificate of registration, granting you exclusive rights to use the mark in Germany within the specified classes. It is essential to actively monitor your trademark and take legal action against any potential infringements to protect your intellectual property rights effectively.
Do you need assistance registering a trademark in Germany? We help you to protect your brand. Contact us now for an individual offer.
Dr. Jasper Prigge, attorney-at-law
Trademark Registration – with or without a German Lawyer?
While it is possible for foreign companies to handle the trademark registration process independently, it is highly recommended to engage the services of a qualified German trademark attorney. They possess the necessary legal expertise, knowledge of local regulations, and familiarity with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) procedures. A lawyer can guide you through the process, assess the viability of your application, and increase the likelihood of successful registration.
Registering a German trademark is a vital step for foreign companies entering the German market. By following the process outlined above, you can navigate the intricacies of trademark law, ensure the successful registration of your mark, and protect your brand’s reputation in Germany.
Take proactive measures to safeguard your intellectual property and position your business for success in this thriving market.