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Graf v. Westphalen
Frankfurt am Main, Germany (DE)

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Heissner & Struck Rechtsanwälte
Hamburg, Germany (DE)

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Harmsen Utescher
Hamburg, Germany (DE)

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Frankfurt am Main, Germany (DE)

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Cologne, Germany (DE)

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Germany (DE)

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Latest News: Sep 20, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 16/18)
Guideline on Trademark Applications/Keeping Registering Revised
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) informs that the guideline for the examination of trademark applications and the keeping of the register (guideline on trademark applications) has been thoroughly revised and entered into force in its new version on August 1, 2018.

It will replace the guidelines for the examination of trademark applications of June 13, 2005 (Blatt für Patent-, Muster- und Zeichenwesen 2005, p. 245 et seqq.) in the version of December 15, 2009.

The guideline on trademark applications aims to ensure a uniform and speedy examination of trademark applications and register matters.

The new version of the guideline can be accessed here (in German only).


Source: www.dpma.de

Jun 14, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 11/18)
Draft Act on Implementation of Trade Secrets Directive
The EU Trade Secrets Directive, officially titled “Directive (EU) 2016/943 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure” (the “TSD”), is a legal instrument by the European Union (EU) that is intended to harmonize the currently fragmented laws regarding trade secrets across the EU Member States. While the TSD does not have direct legal effect, each of the Member States is required to transpose the TSD into its respective national laws by June 9, 2018.

On April 19, 2018, Germany has officially published its first draft bill on a new trade secrets act, which is now subject to public consultation and anticipated to be passed in the fall. The German draft bill aims at implementing the TSD at the so-called “minimum harmonization” level and does make much use of the right of the Member States to go beyond such minimum provided by the TSD.

Key aspects of the draft bill:
- Brings the definition of trade secrets to an international standard by switching from the fairly subjective approach that is currently in effect to a more objective approach, which will require trade secrets holders to implement reasonable measures to protect their trade secrets, akin to the concept known under TRIPS (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights);
- Does away with existing restrictions by codifying commonly accepted permitted uses of trade secrets, e.g., in the context of reverse engineering or whistleblowing;
- Fundamentally improves the rights of trade secrets holders in litigation by introducing more practical measures to ensure secrecy of certain information in litigation, hopefully helping to overcome Germany’s reputation as a “lose the trial or lose the trade secret” jurisdiction; and
- On the remedy side, adds clarity on certain civil remedies like the right to request destruction and recall of infringing products, but, on the other hand, provides for exceptions that may pave the way for the grant of compulsory licenses in certain scenarios; misappropriation of trade secrets remains a criminal offence under German law, however.

For further detailed information, please check here


Source: www.mofo.com

Jan 30, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 2/18)
Notice on Informational Letters Before Trademark Duration Ends
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) published a notice of the change in practice, according to which information letters are sent to owners who have not renewed their trademarks.

Up to now, the information letters have been sent 3.5 months after the end of trademark protection if the trademark had not been renewed at that time. With immediate effect, the Office will now inform the trademark proprietor earlier by sending information letters at least six months before the end of the trademark term. The adaptation will take place in several steps and should be completed by the end of 2018.

The DPMA points out that this is a service provided by the Office without any legal obligations. However, proprietors of trademarks are obliged to notify the Office of changes in the service address and the payment of the renewal fee.

Source: www.dpma.de


Jan 30, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 2/18)
New E-Service DPMAdirektPro Introduced
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has launched DPMAdirektPro on January 1, 2018, after successful trial operations. The new e-service enables the Office to electronically transmit office actions and electronically deliver decisions. In return, customers can electronically send a return confirmation of receipt to the DPMA. With this service, the DPMA and its customers can now manage the case files completely electronically.

Previous users of DPMAdirekt are requested to install the current software version of DPMAdirektPro. Customers need to register to participate in the electronic transmittal of documents. They will then receive a PIN to activate the additional functions of the software. Test users do not need to take any further action but can continue to work with the system as before.

All customers may use the service not only for new applications but also for existing case files by making a request with the DPMA. The traditional paper route of transmittal for individual or all case files is still available.

The DPMAdirektPro software can be downloaded here

Source: www.dpma.de


Dez 20, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 22/17)
Notice on Extensions of Time Limits in Opposition Proceedings
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) issued a notice on the handling of requests for extension of time limits and comments in opposition proceedings.

The Office informs that a first extension of the time limit (of normally two months) may be granted if sufficient reasons are presented (Sec. 18(2) DPMA Ordinance) in opposition proceedings.

For all further extensions of the time limit, a prima facie legitimate interest and consent of the parties concerned must be shown (Sec. 18(3) DPMA Ordinance). In future, these extensions of time limits will be granted for up to a maximum period of six months. If the negotiations on delimitations have not yet been concluded when the period expires, a further request for extension of the time limit can be furnished.

Each formal written statement will be sent to the other party to the proceedings (principle of the right to be heard). However, the DPMA assumes that the parties to the proceedings provide a comprehensive comment in their respective first formal written statement. Subsequently further formal written statements will be served by the DPMA inviting the recipients to make a final comment.

Source: www.dpma.de


Mrz 14, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 5/17)
Draft of New Trademark Act
The German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (Bundesjustizministerium) has issued a draft act (available in German language only) to implement Directive (EU) 2015/2436 into German law (Gesetz zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie (EU) 2015/2436 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 16. Dezember 2015 zur Angleichung der Rechtsvorschriften der Mitgliedstaaten über die Marken – Markenrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz – MaMoG).

The draft picks up the various provisions of the Directive and also contains a proposal for a new fee structure of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) including a one-fee-per-class-system.

For more information, please check here

Source: www.dlapiper.com


Sep 13, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 16/16)
Guidelines of Design Registration Implemented by DPMA
Within the framework of the Convergence Programme of the EUIPO and national offices for a common practice, a project was launched to develop guidelines for the requirements for graphic representation of designs, which were published in a Common Communication of April 15, 2016.

The scope of this project included the development of a common practice and common guidelines for the requirements in the application procedure concerning the graphic representation of designs.

Focus was on the disclaimers as well as the acceptable types of views and rules to assess if a background is neutral.

The guidelines of the Communication has been implemented by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in the design registration procedure from July 15, 2016.

Please refer to the (3,37 MB) Common Communication for contents and results of the project.

Source: www.dpma.de


Jul 12, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 13/16)
Amendments to Trademark Regulation in Force
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) announced that amendments to the trademark regulation (Markenverordnung) came into force on June 24, 2016.

Main changes are the following:
- Coloured trademarks and black and white trademarks need to be submitted in the way they are intended to be registered. It is no longer possible to request a black and white trademark registration when a coloured trademark has been submitted.
- Colour trademarks are now recognised as its own trademark type and covered by its own paragraph.
- For trademarks including non-Latin characters, a translation, transliteration and transcription needs to be submitted with the trademark representation.

For more information, please click on the DPMA news and the trademark regulation (only in German available )

Source: www.dpma.de


Feb 25, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 3/15)
Electronic Case File for Trademarks Soon Available
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has announced that electronic case files for trademarks and geographical indications will be available on March 23, 2015.

It is expected that the introduction of the electronic case file will increase the processing and notification times.

The transition phase started on February 23, 2015. Limitations may occur when using the online services during this phase. For more information please click here

Source: www.dpma.de


Feb 04, 2014 (Newsletter Issue 2/14)
German Designs Act Revised
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has revised the German Designs Act with effect from 1 January 2014.

The major changes are:
- The German term "Geschmacksmuster" has been replaced by the term "registered design".
- A design invalidity proceeding before the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) has been introduced. Before, a request had to be filed in a law suit at a Civil Court. Now an application for invalidity of a registered German design can be filed directly with the GPTO.
- Further, different designs can now be included in one multiple application, even if they do not belong to the same class of goods.
- The new publication medium is the German Federal Gazette.

Source: www.dpma.de


Jan 21, 2014 (Newsletter Issue 1/14)
Electronic File Inspection Launched
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) announced that it allows electronic file inspection on patent and utility model files effective from 7 January 2014.

The documents available for electronic inspection include office actions, decisions, search reports as well as communications relevant to the procedure and other parts of files in PDF format.

Entering the file number and clicking on the button "File inspection" in the free-of-charge information service DPMAregister will lead you to the requested information. All granted patents, registered utility models as well as all applications filed that have already been published on or after 21 January 2013 will be available.

For further information please click here

Source: www.dpma.de



Dez 17, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 18/13)
Design Law Soon Amended
Two amendments to the German law on designs will come into force on April 1, 2014. First of all, the name of the law will change from Geschmacksmustergesetz' into 'Designgesetz'. The official name 'Geschmacksmuster' will also change to 'Design' in order to comply with international conventions. The second amendment relates to the introduction of nullity proceedings before the Office. These proceedings will be less costly than court proceedings which have applied to date. However, it will still be possible to undertake court proceedings.

Source: Witte, Weller & Partner Patentanwälte, Germany


Dez 03, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 17/13)
Online Registration without Signature
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office ( DPMA) announced that, effective from 12 November 2013, it is now possible to file trademark and design applications electronically without a signature.

Source: www.dpma.de


Sep 03, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 12/13)
Accession to Singapore Treaty
The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify the deposit by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, on June 20, 2013, of its instrument of accession to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, adopted at Singapore on March 27, 2006.

In conformity with Article 28(3), the said Treaty will enter into force, with respect to the Federal Republic of Germany, on September 20, 2013.

Source: www.wipo.int


Dez 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.

Source: www.dpma.de


Nov 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.

www.dpma.de


Sep 02, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 13/12)
Official Warning
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.

Source: www.dpma.de


Sep 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

Source: www.dpma.de


Dez 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.

Source: www.dpma.de


Dez 01, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 17/10)
Change in Practise Announced
The 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


Mrz 15, 2010 (Newsletter Issue 8/10)
Filing of Design Applications Electronically
Design applications can be electronically filed at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) from March 1th, 2010.

For more information please click here


Okt 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 25, 1994 (last amended April 4, 2016) and the Trademark Decree of May 11, 2004 (last amended June 2, 2016). 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 1, 1992.
Nice classification, 11th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, combination of colours, 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.
The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks and collective marks. With the implementation of EU Directive 2015/2436, guarantee or certification marks can be subject of a registration, too.
The application is filed at the Trademark Department of the German Patent and Trademark Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney is not necessary for the application, but can be obligatory for foreign applicants if the proceeding continues to the German Federal Patent Court.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination and an examination of distinctiveness, but no search for prior trademarks.
The processing time from first filing to registration – if no objections are raised by the Examiner - is approx. 2 to 3 months. If the Office provisionally refuses the registration, 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. After registration, the trademark is published in the weekly “Markenblatt”. Since issue 1/2004 the “Markenblatt” is published only electronically (Internet address: https://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/blattdownload/marken).
National:
The opposition period is 3 months from the publication date of the registration.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
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 and ends on the last day of the month during which the application has been filed. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
Late renewals may be filed within 6 months after the due date. The grace period starts after the end of the 2nd month after the due date (which is the last day of the month during which the application has been filed; up to that date, no surcharge applies for the late renewal).

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
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)

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application 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.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
Feb 27, 2017
Heissner & Struck Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg, Germany  

Jul 09, 2015
Klinger & Kollegen, Munich, Germany

Jul 26, 2013
Klinger & Kollegen, Munich, Germany

Jul 23, 2013
Heissner & Struck Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg, Germany  

Jan 09, 2012
Klinger & Kollegen, Munich, Germany

Okt 27, 2010
Heissner & Struck Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg, Germany  



Graf v. Westphalen



Kristofer Bott

Kristofer Bott
Ulmenstraße 23-25
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Germany (DE)
Tel + 49 69 800851936
Fax + 49 69 800851999
frankfurt@gvw.com
www.gvw.com

Graf von Westphalen is a partnership of lawyers, accountants and tax advisers. As one of the leading German law firms we act both nationally and internationally - with more than 100 professionals at our offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich as well as in Alicante, Brussels and Shanghai. As a full-service law firm, we offer our clients advice on all areas of commercial law from a single point of contact.

Even if more a complex matter require the services of more than one specialist – with us you will always have a single partner as your fixed point of contact. It goes without saying that we provide advice of the highest quality, are flexible and are service-oriented.

Apart from our presence in Germany's largest economic centres, we attach great importance to having a global network. At an international level we assist our clients working together with pre-eminent local commercial law firms, with whom we have worked closely together for many years.

Heissner & Struck Rechtsanwälte



Dr.  Christian Lemke

Dr. Christian Lemke
Hudtwalckerstraße 11
22299 Hamburg
Germany (DE)
Tel + 49 40 413 05 38 0
Fax + 49 40 480 23 32
lemke@heissner-struck.de
www.heissner-struck.de

Dr. Christian Lemke was born in Hamburg in 1963. After his first state examination at the University of Hamburg he spent his legal in-service training preceding the second state examination, among others, with the Federal Cartel Office in Berlin, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg, a law firm in Los Angeles and the German American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. Dr. Christian Lemke has been attorney at law since 1993. Since 1996 he has been partner of HEISSNER & STRUCK.

Dr. Christian Lemke's practice areas are intellectual property law, copyright law, and IT-law. He is both Certified IP-Lawyer (Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz) and Certified IT-Lawyer (Fachanwalt für Informationstechnologierecht).

Harmsen Utescher



Till E. Lampel

Till E. Lampel
Neuer Wall 80
20354 Hamburg
Germany (DE)
Tel +49 40 376 909 0
Fax +49 40 376 909 99
contact@harmsen.utescher.com
www.harmsen.utescher.com

Harmsen Utescher, founded in 1895, is one of Germany's most experienced and respected IP boutiques. The firm is known for its high-quality litigation and consulting services. Harmsen Utescher has one of the largest trademark prosecution departments in Germany, representing some of the most widely recognized national and international trademark owners.

We represent our clients not only before the German Patents and Trademark Office, but also before the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Patent Office and of course before the German Courts (including the Federal Patent Court) and the European Courts, such as the General Court and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Apart from Trademarks and Patents, Harmsen Utescher covers all areas of intellectual property protection, including Unfair Competition Law, Copyright and Design Law, German and EU Antitrust Law, Pharmaceutical and Medical Products Law, Food and Cosmetics Law, IT and Data Protection Law and Media, Sports and Distribution Law.

This broad specification within IP enables Harmsen Utescher’s attorneys to look at portfolios and cases from all legal perspectives and to consider every procedural option for the enforcement and protection of client's rights in Europe and globally.

Liesegang & Partner



Jens Liesegang

Jens Liesegang
Kettenhofweg 1
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Germany (DE)
Tel +49 6971672670
Fax +49 69716726710
jens.liesegang@liesegang-partner.com
www.liesegang-partner.eu

Domiciled in the very heart of Frankfurt´s commercial and financial centre, Liesegang & Partner is an IP- and commercial-law boutique law firm mainly focussing on the various aspects of national and international trademark law, design law and company law.
We advise and represent our clients in all IP and trademark - related matters, including strategical planning, establishing and protecting of trademark portfolios, we offer trademark searches as well as trademark watch services - and we are operating worldwide, relying on our cooperation partners abroad with most of whom we have established long-term relationships.

Each of our IP - lawyers is a “Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz” (German certified IP - lawyer) and comes with more than a decade of experience in all kinds of trademark matters. We are fluent in German and English

Offering our services we rely on the latest IT-technology: our highly sophisticated website not only provides general information regarding all legal fields we are active in, but enables our clients to entrust us with their representation, forward to us their orders and effect the payment of our fees via credit card and Paypal at any time.

We offer trademark searches, trademark registrations and design registrations in most countries of the world at fixed and highly competitive prices, thus giving our clients a reliable basis to calculate and to control costs.

Jonas Law Firm



Dr.  Martin Viefhues

Dr. Martin Viefhues
Hohenstaufenring 62
50674 Cologne
Germany (DE)
Tel +49 221 27758 0
Fax +49 221 27758 1
viefhues@jonas-lawyers.com
www.jonas-lawyers.com

Jonas law firm is a team of 9 lawyers and approx. 25 employees who continue to work in specialist area of law after the split-off from a major international law firm whose roots date back to the first half of the last century.

We differ – both from our competitors and from each other. It is the "unity in diversity" which complements, challenges and continuously inspires us. Thus, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Knowledge and know-how are our tools: We give them top priority. Thus we invest a lot of energy in the education and training of our young lawyers and young employees. Our lawyers are experts in their field of law. Beyond that they have considerable professional experiences gained in enterprises, as judges and in the authorities relevant for us. We can therefore assess our clients interests not only from a lawyer´s legal point of view.

Despite all the knowledge and experience we have gained – in the end it is the legal creativity which opens new perspectives. We do not only want to detect problems but we want to offer solutions. Each project can benefit from new ideas, because even if the facts are similar each case is individual.

Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA)
Zweibrückenstraße 12
80331 Munich
Germany
Tel +49 89 21 95 0
Fax +49 89 21 95 22 21
www.dpma.de
or:
Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt
Goethestrasse 1
07743 Jena, Germany
Tel. + 49 36 41 40 54
Fax + 49 36 41 40 56 90
Send applications to the Munich office.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
Avenida de Europa, 4
03008 Alicante
Spain
Tel +34 965 139 100
Fax +34 965 131 344
Mail information@euipo.europa.eu
www.euipo.europa.eu


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8
www.wipo.int