Protect Your Company Name In Germany
Do you want to protect your business name from unauthorized use?
In today’s expanding market, having a company name is essential since it is used to identify the business and its goods and services, making it simpler for customers to interact with the business. For a business registered in Germany, a company name, however, may be used for more than just brand recognition.
It can be the initial point of contact between your brand and potential customers, serve as a way to set your products apart from those of your competitors, and inspire confidence and trust in your customers.
As a result, protecting your corporate identity in Germany is essential. Maintaining the client’s trust and avoiding any legal issues will be made easier by protecting your company name, which will also ensure that your brand and its identity are safeguarded. One approach to safeguard your company name is to file a trademark application with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt).
This article will help you comprehend why it is important to protect your company name in Germany as well as the procedures you need to take in order to do the same.
Reason to protect my company’s name in Germany
You will have the only right to the company name if you legally protect it in Germany.
The following are some justifications to protect my company’s name in Germany:
- Brand Recognition: By designating a company name as a trademark, a corporation helps to distinguish its products and services from those of its rivals and converts them into intellectual property. By doing this, you’ll help ensure that other businesses don’t copy or duplicate your company’s products and services, which will make it easier for consumers to recognize the things that bear your logos.
- Legal safeguards: Trademark protection for a company name will give organizations safeguards under the law. Trademark registration of your business name implies that legally you are the owner of the trademark and are authorized to make use of it in connection with the products and services indicated in your trademark application. Registering a trademark to protect your company name in Germany will help you to file a legal claim against any corporation that uses the same name, logo, or structure as your organization.
Conditions to protect your company name in Germany
Prior to submitting an application to the Patent Office for trademark protection for a company name, it is essential for you to satisfy specific conditions.
Here are the conditions to protect your company name in Germany:
Having a distinctive business name
Using generic terms to name a business is improper and must be avoided. Hence in order to increase your chances to protect your company name in Germany, it is crucial for you to have a different and uncommon business name.
The business name cannot include a national symbol
Utilizing any “emblems” or symbols of national sovereignty for your business’s name is strictly prohibited. The term “state sovereignty” describes the representatives of the state, including the federal authorities, the armed forces, and the police. It is advised to avoid using such terms in the business’s name to prevent facing legal consequences.
Names that violate morality or the law should be avoided for your business
You can file an application for trademark protection for a company name only when the business name does not contain any terms that violate morality or the law. In other words, names for companies cannot be registered using phrases that are against existing social and legal norms.
The business name should not be deceptive
A business name that misled the consumer is not qualified for trademark protection. For instance, your organization’s name cannot include any locational characteristics that are not from your location or mention organic production when conventional methods were being utilized.
Need to safeguard the logo of your company
The logo of your business is one of the most significant symbols that the consumers first discover about your business. The logo is what makes it simpler for customers to recognize the goods and services that your brand offers. Consequently, the firm name is not the sole thing that merits trademark protection, the corporation logo must also be protected.
It is even more crucial to have this corporate logo protected because it takes a lot of effort and resources to create a memorable and appealing brand logo. Imitators run the risk of exploiting your logo improperly and profiting at your expense. If you register the business’s logo as a trademark, you’re granted the legal authority to take legal action against those who duplicate your design and, if required, seek monetary compensation.
The following prerequisites have to be satisfied to protect a business logo:
- It should be different and unique
- It should be available and not similar to any existing logos
- It shouldn’t include any national emblems
- It should not be indecent and offensive
- It should not be misleading
How do I protect my company’s name in Germany?
The most secure way for protecting the name of your organization is to register it as a trademark. You can establish a wordmark in order to protect your company name in Germany. Registering a wordmark safeguards a string of alphabetic, numeric, and special characters. A font and a design can be used to enhance security when requesting a wordmark or logo.
Trademark protection for a company name in Germany or logo registration can be done by filing an application with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). Enrollment can be done digitally, in person, by fax, or by submitting a mail. The registration for trademark protection for a company name in Germany will be recognized in three to four months, after which you can exercise the associated property rights. A trademark that has been legally protected in Germany can be used as the foundation for worldwide trademark applications.
If your business operates in the European Union, trademark protection for a company name can be done by registering it with the European Union Intellectual Property Organization. You can also file a request with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for registering the name or logo of your organization outside of the European Union.
Steps to protect my company’s name in Germany
Make sure that your company name or logo satisfies the requirements for trademark registration before beginning the application procedure. It must be distinctive and not just be a summary of the commodities or services it stands for. Make a comprehensive search to see whether any trademarks with a similar meaning already exist.
Complete the application form
Visit the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) website to obtain the formal application form. Complete the form properly and with the required data.
Send the Application
After completing the form and including all required information, send the application to the DPMA. Using their web-based filing system or by mail, you can submit this digitally.
After obtaining your application, the DPMA will examine it to see if all legal requirements have been met and to look for any potential inconsistencies with already-registered trademarks.
DPMA approval will result in the publication of your trademark application in the Trademark Gazette. Following publication, there is a 3-month opposition duration during which third parties, who have good cause to do so, may register an opposition.
Acquiring the certificate
The DPMA is going to continue with the registration of your trademark if no objections are made or those made are rejected. A trademark registration certificate would be provided to you after registration.
Validity of trademark protection for a company name in Germany
Following the approval of the application for trademark protection of a company name in Germany, the name of the organization will be shielded for the following ten years. Once the given ten years are over, you can further apply for the trademark protection to be renewed.
Approximate charges to protect my company’s name in Germany
Here are the charges associated with trademark protection for a company name:
- Charges associated with filing the application costs around 300 euros.
- Charges associated with filing the application digitally costs around 290 euros.
- Renewal charges for a trademark are 750 euros.
- A minimal amount of 250 euros is required for an opposing sign during opposition procedures.
- The application cost for revocation-related circumstances is 100 euros.
- There is a 400 euro application fee for applications that are invalid due to absolute reasons for rejection.
Can I protect my company’s name in Germany by enrolling it with the Commercial Register?
Although you can register your business name with the commercial register, trademark protection provides far more security than commercial registration does. Being listed in the commercial registry can, nonetheless, be beneficial. If your organization needs to conduct commercial activities, registration in the commercial register is mandatory. This indicates that the corporation is governed by the German Commercial Code’s rules.
Book end-to-end experts consultation with Odint company formation experts
Protecting the name of your business is crucial as it acts as the identification of your business which further helps clients distinguish between your brand from others. Protecting your business name enhances the reputation of your business, and builds consumer trust. Additionally, your company name serves as a springboard for creating a digital presence, making it easier for customers to find and interact with your organization in the internet world.
If you intend to trademark your company’s name, get in touch with the experts from Odint Consulting. We will assist you every step of the way, from conducting a trademark search to ensuring that the chosen name is available to file a trademark application with the regulatory authorities. As industry-leading experts in trademark protection, we offer comprehensive assistance throughout the entire trademarking process. Contact Odint Consulting right away, and let our dedicated group of professionals pave the path for complete trademark protection for your company name.
Registering for a trademark is one of the methods you can safeguard your company’s name in Germany.
The standard trademark filing price is 300 euros, although there are additional expenses for things like digitally filing an application, renewing an existing trademark, paying revocation-related costs, etc.
To provide complete protection, you can register your business’s name and logo as separate trademarks.
In addition to domestic protection offered by German trademark registration, you can also seek international protection through a number of treaties and agreements, such as the Madrid System.
You are given the sole right to use your company name after trademark registration, safeguarding it against infringement. If someone tries to use a name that sounds similar, it makes legal enforcement easier, and it supports your cause if there is a disagreement.
You might need to adopt a new name for your business to avoid potential disputes if your company name is already trademarked by another entity for comparable goods or services.
A trademark search, application preparation, submission to the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), and examination are the steps in the procedure.
You can use your company name without filing a trademark application. If you have been using the name in trade for a specific amount of time, German law nevertheless provides some level of protection for unregistered names. This defense is constrained and might not be as strong as an established trademark.
Parshant Gaur is a company formation specialist with 4+ years of expertise in international business. Financial planning, risk management, and other related areas.