- We recommend choosing a wordmark as your first mark. It gives the broadest scope of protection and wordmarks are rarely changed, unlike logos.
- A logo is recommended as your first mark if the mark you are trying to register is considered weak (descriptive, for example). Not a big deal! Booking.com couldn't register its mark for years.
- A combined mark is a solid choice in many countries. But you must use your mark as it was registered at least sometimes. Therefore, a wordmark is still preferred as it remains the best value for money. In the
Germany, like most countries in the European Union, operates on a "first-to-file" basis for trademarks. This means that the person who files for a trademark registration first will have priority over others who may have used the same or similar marks, even if they have been using it prior to the registration.
In other words, in Germany, if someone else has already registered a trademark that you have been using, you will not be able to register it, even if you have been using it first. It is therefore important to file for registration as soon as possible to ensure that you have priority over others who may be using or want to use the same or similar marks.
6. Register a trademark in German Patent and Trade Mark Office
Trademark classification in Germany (Deutschland, DE)
Goods and services are the items or activities for which a trademark will be used. These are known as the "class" of goods or services.
Goods refer to physical items that are manufactured, sold, or traded. Examples of goods include clothing, electronics, food, and vehicles.
Services refer to activities or actions that are performed for others. Examples of services include legal advice, consulting, transportation, and financial services.
When filing a trademark application, the applicant must specify the class(es) of goods or services for which the mark will be used. This allows the trademark office to determine if the mark is available for use and whether it is likely to cause confusion with existing marks.
There are 45 classes of goods and services defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that are recognized internationally.
When you file the application, you should provide a detailed and specific list of goods and services that you intend to use the trademark on. It's important to be as specific as possible when describing the goods and services, as this will help prevent any confusion or issues during the registration process.
You must specify the products and services your trademark is for. All the products and services are divided into 45 classes in Germany. The names of the products and services are determined either by the Trademark Office of Germany (DPMA), EUIPO or by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). In Germany they use the Harmonized Classification, which is standard for all the EU countries.
Actual trademark classification: Nice classification, 11th edition and Harmonized Classification.
If you have a registered trademark in your home country, you can send the trademark details to us and we can use the same list of goods or products to file your brand in Germany. In any case we will verify the list and help you change the description of the products or services to meet the local standards.
What can be registered in Germany?
Some trademarks are not eligible for registration. These include marks that are descriptive, misleading, offensive, or generic. For example, a mark such as "Best Clothing Berlin" would be considered descriptive for clothing, and a mark such as "Apple Juice" would be considered generic for a juice made from apples. It's worth noting that some cases can be more complex and it may not be immediately obvious whether a mark is descriptive or not. It's advisable to consult with a trademark attorney to help you determine the registrability of your proposed trademark.
Some marks are weaker than others. There are suggestive marks like Microsoft, dictionary words with no direct association with the products or services such as Apple and made-up words or fanciful marks, i.e. Xerox.
The strongest marks are fanciful or made-up words, but from the marketing point of view, a suggestive mark might be preferable.
If there are similar marks in Germany your mark might be refused or might receive an opposition. Similar doesn't mean identical. They can sound similar, mean similar things or look similar. There is no 100% algorithm to determine similar marks, each case is different and we rely on the experience of our attorneys. We check if your mark can be registered during a study.
Free Trademark Search in Germany
We offer a free trademark search online in Germany, you can request it on this page. It's free and we'll check the register within a day. Our search is carried out by professional trademark consultants and we can spot more conflicts than an simple online search with no expertise behind it.
We may spot that your mark is descriptive or generic and inform you beforehand. Some marks can't be registered in Germany and we will notify you if this is the case.
Also, we will be happy to answer to any questions you might have and help you with determining what will be the best option to protect your trademark in Germany.
You can use the German Patent and Trademark Office's (DPMA) online database, called the DPMAregister. You can search for trademarks by entering keywords, the owner's name, or the registration or application number. The database is available in German and English and you can search for free.
During our study we check if your mark is registrable and search for similar marks. Once you get the results and our recommendations you may decide if it's worth filing your trademark as is or if you can change it to have a higher probability of registration. Also we offer free studies in Germany if your first one was negative, so you may try different options to see how the probability changes.
Our Study helps to determine the probability of registration of your brand in Germany. There might be similar marks you are not aware of and by completing the Study we can give our estimated probability of successful registration. There are a lot of rules regarding what marks can and can't be registered and our attorneys will make sure that your mark does not contradict those rules.
If you want to have peace of mind that your brand will be registered within this timeframe and you won't have to pay extra for solving any problems you might order our trademark study.
Brand Application Process. Should you register a mark in the EU or Germany?
Whether to register a mark in the European Union (EU) or in Germany specifically depends on your business needs and strategies.
Registering a mark in the EU through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) provides protection for your trademark in all member states of the EU, including Germany. This can be a cost-effective solution if you plan to expand your business to other EU countries in the future.
On the other hand, registering a mark in Germany through the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) specifically provides protection only in Germany. This can be a good option if you only plan to do business in Germany, or if you want to have a more specific protection in this country.
It's worth noting that the EU trademark registration process can take longer and be more expensive (the cost is 850 EUR as a government fee) than registering in German (EUR 300 as a government fee).
Your Registration Plan
Step 1. Start with a Free TM Search. We will check if there are any obvious conflicts. You will know if it's worth moving forward with the mark.
Step 2. Learning more about your brand. To file a trademark in Germany, we will need to know the owner address and name, the trademark and if it has a logo and what services/products it covers. Are you ready to move to the next step?
Step 3. Attorney's opinion (a.k.a. Study) In some cases we may recommend asking our attorney to review the case and prepare a detailed registration report. That's an optional non-obligatory service.
Step 4. Request registration and submit your payment. The process is completely online and we'll request your mark within 3-5 days and you will get a filing confirmation.
Register a trademark in German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
To register a trademark in Germany, you will need to file an application with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). The application must include the following: 1. A clear representation of the mark, such as a drawing or image. 2. A list of the goods or services for which the mark will be used. 3. The name and address of the applicant. The application will be reviewed by the DPMA and, if approved, will be published in the Official Journal of Trade Marks. If no opposition is filed within three months of publication, the mark will be registered. It's worth noting that the process can be complex, and it's recommended to hire a trademark attorney for assistance.
Applying for your mark (we pay all the government fees and submit the application) at the DPMA- > Formal examination (if the list of goods/services is correct, if other details are correct) -> Substantial examination (if the mark is unique and registrable) -> Registration -> Publication (allowing the public and other business to object against the mark registration)
Please note that there is a three month period after the registration date wherein third parties could theoretically file an opposition based on earlier rights.
In Germany we will require no additional documents to file a mark.
How long does the TM registration process take in Germany?
On average, it takes 3-5 days to file a trademark in Germany. If all the details required are provided by the applicant, we can file the mark within 1-2 days.
The time it takes to register a trademark in Germany can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the application and the workload of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA).The entire process in Germany takes 4-5 months provided that there are no problems during the examination and publication stages.
The mark is protected for 10 years from the moment of application. The mark can be renewed for periods of 10 years.
You must use the mark in this country as you registered it. If you don't use your mark for 3-5 years, the mark will become vulnerable to cancellations and others will be able to cancel it if they decide to start this legal procedure.
What can you do with a mark?
You have an ownership confirmation and the mark becomes a point of value collection, meaning that whatever you invest into your brand or into its reputation will not disappear, but will "stick" to your trademark. Getting a registration will seal your ownership over this value. That's similar to buying a land lot to buy a house. Would you like to build a house on a land lot that's not even yours? Of course not. Ownership matters
When you register your trademark in Germany, you’ll be able to:
1. Take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters
2. Put the ® symbol next to your brand - to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it
3. Sell and license your brand
Bonamark takes care of more parts of the process than any other company out there. We are not here to just file anything we receive from you. We are here to check everything, prepare the document to avoid the common objections, enhance your product list for the optimal scope of protection and make sure that you don't have to pay extra and spend more time than you wish.
In Germany we file marks since 2016 and work with the most experienced attorneys. We take full responsibility for your success and make sure that everything is done according to your instructions.
Bonamark is one of the most valued trademark registration companies with 4.9/5 rating.
A trademark is registered for 10 years and a hard copy certificate is issued. An example is attached below.
Once registered your mark will be valid for 10 years and can be renewed for periods of 10 years. You are allowed to use ® with your mark to show others that it is registered. Bonamark can renew your mark in the country.
The Trademark Office might refuse any similar mark for similar products, but we recommend getting a Trademark Watch in order to track any similar marks independently. This way you will be able to spot any similar marks and submit an opposition during their publication stage in order to prevent those marks from registering.
You have an obligation to use the mark in commerce. If you stop using the mark for 3-5 consecutive years your mark might be cancelled by anyone who starts the cancellation process
You must keep your details up to date, if the name of your company was changed you should submit the change at the Trademark Office, the same applies to the address. Otherwise, there might be difficulties when you have to enforce your mark and if you decide to sell it.
We offer Change of Address and Change of Name services and will help you to keep your details up to date.
Trademark registration in Germany: Requirements
Fill out our simple trademark registration online form in just 5 minutes and a Trademark Specialist will contact you within 24 hours in order to guide you through the process.
Trademark registration & Search in Germany: Procedure
Our attorney will file your trademark within 5 business days after receiving all the required documents.
Trademark registration: Duration in Germany
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years starting from the registration date.
Trademark registration Cost in Germany
The cost to register a trademark in Germany can vary depending on the number of classes of goods or services that you wish to register your trademark for.
The official fee for filing a trademark application in Germany is EUR 300 for up to three classes and EUR 290 if filed electronically. For each additional class the official fee is EUR 100 per class.
However, these official fees are just the starting point. There may be additional costs such as attorney's fees for preparing and filing the application, and the cost of any necessary translations if the application is not in German. If the trademark application faces objections, it could lead to additional costs for legal representation.
The government fees are included in our prices.
Trademark renewal in Germany
- Trademarks registered before January 2019: A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application and ends on the last day of the month during which the application has been filed.
- Trademarks registered after January 14, 2019: the term of protection ends exactly ten years from the date of application.
The DPMA informs the trademark owner eight months in advance of the expiration of the term of protection
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
A mark should be renewed within 6 months before the expiration date.
The owner of the mark must timely renew the trademark or the mark will expire and will be permanently removed from the Register.
Trademark renewal schedule
The price is 1199$ for up to 3 classes. If your mark has more than 3 classes, the renewal fee is 599$ per each class after the third. The government fee is included in the prices.
Trademark renewal process
Please contact us using the following form in order to request a trademark renewal. The process is rather simple, our attorney will become your representative and will pay the renewal fee.
How to apply
Documents required: a Power of Attorney is required in order to renew a Trademark in Germany. The only requirement is to pay the renewal fee.
How fast the process is
The trademark renewal procedure takes 1 month.
What if the deadline is missed?
The grace period is 6 months after the expiration date, a surcharge to be paid is 50 EUR for the first 1-3 classes and 50 EUR for each additional class after the third. When the grace period is over, the mark is abandoned and not reinstallable.
14. Trademark Assignment
Trademark assignment in Germany is a process during which the ownership of a trademark is completely or partially changed. Assigning or transferring a trademark is required if you sell all or part of your trademark to another company or individual. Sometimes, you may open a new company and will have to transfer all the ownership to the new company, or from the founder personally to the new company.
When you assign a trademark in Germany you will have to submit a special assignment form confirming that the mark will be transferred and a set of documents confirming that the assignment is authorized, usually it's a deed of assignment.
In some countries you can transfer only part of the ownership, for example, 50% of the mark or you may divide the mark in 2 and transfer the trademark for only some classes or even products.
Documents required depend on the country where you submit your assignment, in Germany the following documents are required: Simply signed Deed of Assignment with a German translation (scan).
The price to transfer 1 trademark is 250 USD.
Transferring a trademark is not instant, the time frame to transfer a trademark is 1 week.
We offer the following services in Germany:
- Trademark Search - we will check if your mark is available.
- Trademark Registration - we will apply for your mark in Germany
- Trademark renewal - we will prolong (renew) your trademark for another 10 years
- Trademark oppositions - our attorneys will defend your mark
- Trademark assignment - we will arrange the transfer of the mark to a new owner
- Change of name/Change of Address - we will keep your information up to date on the Register
If you are interested in any of these services, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The prices include everything for a straightforward process of registration. The prices do not include any legal defense in case of oppositions or objections.