12-04-2012 (Newsletter Issue 18/12)
Expiration of Time Limits during Festive Season
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) has informed that Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are not counted as official holidays but rate as working days. Therefore, the deadline in which the last day of the period falls on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve will not be postponed on the next working day (see also Notice No. 8/1999). Only when Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline will be postponed to the next business day (see § 193 BGB).
Although the DPMA will be closed on December 24, 2012 and January 1, 2013 you can submit applications, oppositions, appeals and other business related matters on time by using the night mailboxes of our departments in Munich, Jena and Berlin or sending a fax to +49 (0)89 2195 2221.
11-19-2012 (Newsletter Issue 17/12)
DPMA Web Pages Unavailable Coming Weekend
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) has informed that their web pages and online databases will be unavailable for scheduled maintenance from Friday, 23 November 2012, 18:00 CET, to Sunday, 25 November 2012, approximately 24:00 CET.
09-02-2012 (Newsletter Issue 13/12)
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) has issued an official warning.
Fraudsters have been directly contacting patent and trademark owners. They pretend to be official representatives from the DPMA and marke use of fake service identification cards. They try to collect fees. The DPMA expressly points out that they do not employ such sales representatives.
09-02-2012 (Newsletter Issue 13/12)
New Opening Hours in the Munich Office
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) announced the change of the opening hours in the office of Munich (Zweibrückenstr. 12, 80331 Munich) with effect from October 1, 2012.
The new oppening hours are
Monday to Thursday 7.30 am – 3.00 pm
Friday 7.30 am – 2.00 pm
12-01-2011 (Newsletter Issue 14/11)
Adoption of 10th Edition of Nice Classification
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) announced that it will apply the 10th Edition of the Nice Classification as from 1 January 2012. Applications filed after the 9th Edition won’t be any longer acceptable as from 1 January 2012 and will be objected by DPMA.
12-01-2010 (Newsletter Issue 17/10)Change in Practise AnnouncedThe German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) announced a change in practise regarding the classification of trademark applications received after January 1st, 2011.
In case of imprecise description of the goods and services your trademark application refers to, the DPMA will interpret the respective description by means of the class number indicated in the application.
For more information please click here
03-15-2010 (Newsletter Issue 8/10)Filing of Design Applications ElectronicallyDesign applications can be electronically filed at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) from March 1th, 2010.
For more information please click here
10-15-2009 (Newsletter Issue 4/09)
Postal Address of Trademark Office Changed
Please note that after Nov 1st, 2009 only the following postal addresses must be used:
80297 Munich for key accounts or
Zweibrückenstraße 12, 80331 Munich.
Documents will no longer be accepted at Cincinnattistraße 64, Munich
Legal basis is the Trademark Act of October 25th, 1994 (last amended July 31st, 2009) and the Trademark Decree of May 11th, 2008 (last amended October 15th, 2008). Germany is a member of the Madrid Agreement, the Madrid Protocol and the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
All trademarks protected in one part of Germany during the period of separation have been protected in the reunited country since May 1st, 1992.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, colour combinations, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging as well as sound marks and any combination of the mentioned signs. Olfactory marks can be registered in certain cases. Since October 15th, 2003, a sonogram cannot be filed as a graphical representation of a sound mark any more.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks and collective marks.
The application is filed at the Trademark Department of the German Patent and Trademark Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney is not necessary.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approx. 6 to 9 months.
The first office action is taken after approx. 2 months.
An urgent examination within 3 to 6 months is possible after payment of an additional fee.
The application process includes a formal examination and an examination of distinctiveness, but no search for prior trademarks. After registration, the trademark is published in the weekly “Markenblatt”. Since issue 1/2004 the “Markenblatt” has been published only electronically (Internet address: http://publikationen.dpma.de/DPMApublikationen/shw_tm_idx.do).
The opposition period is 3 months from the publication date of the registration.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
3 months, beginning with the 1st day of the month following publication in the WIPO Gazette.
Protection begins with the date of application, but the trademark is only valid after successful registration. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
If the trademark has not been used within 5 years from registration (or the end of the opposition procedure) or has later not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be subject to cancellation. If no party has requested cancellation due to non-use during this time, subsequent
use of the trademark can restore protection.
Use of an identical Swiss trademark, which is registered for the same goods/services in Germany and Switzerland, counts as valid use in Germany and vice versa if the trademark owner has place of business and legal seat in either of the two countries (German-Swiss Agreement regarding mutual patent, design and trademark protection of April 13th, 1892, Art. 5)
The official fee is EUR 300.00 for up to three classes. (EUR 290.00 if filed electronically) For each additional class the official fee is EUR 100.00 per class.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In Germany it is advisable to grant a licence in writing for purposes of evidence. A licence may however be concluded orally. Licensing of unregistered trademarks is permitted. A licence may be restricted territorially and with respect to the goods and/or services covered by the mark. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence agreement. There are no statutory provisions which re-quire specific terms to be incorporated into a licence agreement.
Licences are not recorded.
The licence becomes effective on the date of signature/conclusion of the licence agreement.
The existence of a licence agreement is usually accepted as evidence of permitted use. The licensee may join the owner in infringement proceedings. Whether a licensee may call upon the owner to institute infringement proceedings depends on the licence contract. The licensee can institute proceedings only with the consent of the owner. He does not need to cite the owner as co-defendant in any such proceedings.
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