Trade marks

Your trade mark. Your first impression.
A successful product includes a successful name that is connected to the product or the manufacturer – the trade mark. The trade mark accompanies firms in most cases for decades. It is therefore important that a trade mark is protected in the most important markets against misuse and imitation. A trademark is a sign which is capable of distinguishing goods and services of one company from those of another business. Words, letters, numbers, slogans, pictures, sounds, three-dimensional forms and other presentational aspects can be protected as signs of this nature if they meet certain requirements. After a precise review of what is known as absolute grounds for refusal, the trademark is registered. The term of protection initially lasts for 10 years from the date of registration on, but can be extended as desired.
The national, i.e. Chinese, Trade Mark Office offers unitary protection in the respective country. The request is to be filed with the national office, i.e. with the Trade mark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the P.R.C. The European Union Trade Mark offers unitary protection within the entire European Union. It is not possible to select single countries. The application can be filed with the EUIPO.
The International Trade Mark according to the Madrid Agreement (MMA) and the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement (PMMA) offers the opportunity to request trade mark protection for a single or multiple contracting states of the respective agreement.
Establishing a successful trademark involves more than just making an application at the trademark office. A comprehensive strategy is necessary, and it must begin even before the correct trademark is selected – irrespective of whether it is a word mark, a figurative mark or any other type of sign. We work hand in hand with designers and graphic artists who help to ensure that legal aspects (such as for example the question of the basic eligibility of the sign to be registered as a trademark) are taken into account even during the selection of the trademark. In this context, distinctiveness is an important factor which we constantly bear in mind.
The preliminary search for earlier trademark rights is extremely important even when the suitable trademark is being selected. After the trademark application was filed, usually considerable sums are invested in marketing and establishment of the brand. To avoid a situation where a trademark, which has been marketed at great expense, subsequently proves to be worthless a timely comprehensive and targeted search is initial for making sure that it does not conflict with a competitor’s trademark and can be used to its extent intended.
To avoid such scenarios, sometimes it can be beneficial to operate with various trademarks in parallel. In this area too, we develop efficient and creative solutions together with our clients.

Our services in connection with trade-marks include for example:
• advice prior to filing
• carrying out trade mark searches
• elaborating the trade mark strategy
• drafting the list of goods and services
• prosecution of national and international trade marks

• trade mark oppositions

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