Trademarks in Germany are very important because they are used for commercial purposes. The trademark is a sign that helps products and services to distinguish themselves from other products or services. The procedure for trademark registration in Germany is quite simple if all documentation is properly prepared. After filing the application, the examiners of the German Trademark Office will verify the documents, publish the trademark in the Official Gazette and if no opposition exists will allow the registration.
As mentioned above, one of the steps of the trademark registration procedure is to publish the trademark in the Official Gazette for three months. During these three months anyone with previous rights or with valid reasons to contest the registration of the trademark may file an opposition. The period for trademark opposition in Germany cannot exceed the three months period.
A trademark opposition is usually filed by owners of previously registered trademarks or owners of other registered intellectual property rights. Trademark opposition in Germany must be submitted in writing. In order to file for trademark opposition a fee must be paid.
You can rely on our attorneys in Germany in you want to file for trademark registration or opposition.
Once the trademark opposition fee is paid and the application submitted, the opponent must prove that he or she has valid reasons to contest the registration of the trademark. The opponent must file a statement that shows how the trademark registration would affect him or her and must submit a statement of the reasons for opposing the registration.
Contrary to other countries where the contested party must submit an answer to the opposition, in Germany no counter-statement must be submitted. The applicant for trademark registration may file a counter-statement only if he or she considers so.
A settlement between parties is usually reached when a trademark opposition is submitted. However, if no settlement is reached, the opponent and the applicant must file evidence that supports the opposition, respectively the registration of the trademark. Based on all evidence, the German Trademark Office will make a decision whether to grant or deny the registration of the mark.
Trademark opposition may be appealed to the Trademark Office or to the German Federal Patent Court, according to the Trademark Act.
For details about the legislation on intellectual property rights you can contact our law firm in Germany.
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