Appeals to the German Patent and Trademark Office

Appeals to the German Patent and Trademark Office

If, as a proprietor of a trademark, you become aware that a newer registered trademark is identical to yours, you may enter an appeal to the German Patent and Trademark Office. You must enter your appeal within three months of the newer trademark being registered. In addition, a fee of €120.00 becomes payable.

The trademark office will evaluate whether the trademarks are identical and whether there is a risk that the two could be confused. This will be assessed in the light of the similarities between the products and services. If the products and services are similar, the trademarks must be all the more dissimilar.

If, for example, a person offers electrical products under the name of “Apples”, it is likely that there is a high risk that these products will be confused with the computer products offered by Apple.

In addition to proprietors of registered trademarks being able to appeal to the German Patent and Trademark Office, proprietors of trademarks acquired through usage and those acquired through high profile may also lodge appeals.

If the German Patent and Trademark Office reaches the decision that the newer trademark is identical to the older trademark, the newer trademark may be partly or completely deleted from the index of products and services.

Would you like to register a trademark? Do you have general questions about trademark law? We are here to help.

German lawyer Kilian Kost is available to answer your questions. Call us on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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