Registering a trademark in Germany involves conducting a trademark search, preparing and submitting the application, undergoing a formal examination, publication and opposition period, and finally receiving the trademark certificate. The entire process typically takes 6-12 months and costs vary depending on the specifics of your application. For more information and assistance, consult the DPMA's website (https://www.dpma.de/english/index.html) or hire a local attorney or agent specializing in intellectual property.
Conduct a Trademark Search
Before starting the registration process, it is crucial to ensure that your desired trademark does not infringe on existing trademarks. You can perform a search using the database provided by the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) at https://www.dpma.de/english/index.html. If you need assistance, you can hire a local attorney or agent specializing in intellectual property.
Prepare and Submit the Application
After confirming that your desired trademark is unique, you need to fill out the application form. The form can be downloaded from the DPMA's website (https://www.dpma.de/english/our_services/forms/index.html). Your application should include:
- Name and address of the applicant
- A clear representation of the trademark
- A list of goods and services for which the trademark will be used, classified according to the Nice Classification
- Submit the completed application, along with the required fees, to the DPMA in person, by mail, or electronically. The DPMA's website provides details on current fees (https://www.dpma.de/english/our_services/fees/index.html).
Upon receiving your application, the DPMA will conduct a formal examination to ensure all requirements are met. If any deficiencies are found, you will receive a notification and be given a deadline to correct them. This stage typically takes 1-3 months.
Publication of the Trademark Application
Once your application passes the formal examination, it will be published in the German Trademark Gazette. This publication initiates a three-month opposition period, during which third parties can file objections against your application.
Registration and Issuance of the Trademark Certificate
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is successfully resolved, the DPMA will register your trademark and issue a certificate of registration. This step usually takes 3-6 months from the date of application.
Renewal and Maintenance
German trademarks are valid for ten years from the date of registration and can be renewed indefinitely for successive ten-year periods. Renewal applications must be filed within six months before the expiration date or during a six-month grace period following the expiration date, with additional fees for late renewals.