For obtaining a strong market position, it is mandatory that products and services are marketed under an intuitive name or sign which the customer associates with the quality and value of the product or service. By means of a registered trademark, such names or signs can be protected efficiently against copying and against the exploitation of the reputation by third parties.
A sign must not be descriptive for the relevant goods and services and must possess a distinctive character – we will evaluate your sign with respect to these prerequisites and elaborate a solution that meets the requirements for registration. Our attorneys represent clients in registration as well as opposition and invalidity procedures for trademarks. We further support our clients in conflicts with competitors, for example by the drafting of delimitation agreements or by the enforcement of the trademark.
The shape or outer appearance of a product can be protected by a design (in some countries termed design patent). Examples are the shape of a piece of furniture, the pattern on a piece of clothing, the profile of a tire or the appearance of a graphical user interface. The requirements for obtaining protection by means of a design are that the shape or appearance is novel and has individual character.
A design has an individual character if the overall impression which the design produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any previously published design. The protection by a registered design can be extended to a maximum term of 25 years from the filing date. Design protection can be obtained for most countries, for example by using the community design of the European Union or by using the Hague system with its more than 60 member states including the US and the EU.
Together with our clients, we elaborate how a product can be protected most efficiently by means of registered designs. Our attorneys prepare design applications and handle the German, European or international registration procedures. We further support our clients with the enforcement of their registered designs against competitors, for example by means of obtaining an interim injunction or the filing of an infringement action.