Patentanwalt Dr. Betram Rapp

by Dipl.-Phys. Dr. Bertram Rapp
(Foto: Charrier Rapp & Liebau)

Patent attorney Dr. Bertram Rapp, Charrier Rapp & Liebau

Trademark protection: “When should I protect the name worldwide?”

B4B readers ask, our industry experts from the region answer: “Is it worthwhile to have a brand name protected worldwide as a preventive measure, even if we only want to use it in German-speaking countries for the foreseeable future?” Dr. Bertram Rapp of CHARRIER RAPP & LIEBAU, our expert for patent issues, knows the answer.
Basically, a trademark should be registered for all countries in which it is currently used or in which it is planned to start using it in the foreseeable future. Especially for the German-speaking countries, the application of a German trademark with an international registration based on it and naming Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria is a good idea.

Prophylactic trademark application has an expiry date

In exceptional cases, it may make sense to apply for protection abroad even if direct use of the trademark is not intended there. Such an exception may be that the trademark is to be used to advertise an event taking place in Germany, a trade fair, a congress or a hotel, and one wants to ensure that one also has the exclusive rights to the marketing abroad, although the actual use will only take place in Germany. However, it should be noted that a trademark can be cancelled after some time (between three and five years after its registration, depending on national law) at the request of a third party if it is not used in the country concerned. Such a prophylactic trademark application thus has an expiration date, so to speak.

The European Union trademark

The European Union trademark offers a great advantage here. It grants protection in the entire European Union, even if it is only used in some states of the Union. Thus, many companies that are currently only active in German-speaking countries choose the European Union trademark as a precautionary measure, on the one hand to ensure that the trademark is not used and registered by a third party and, on the other hand, to protect themselves in the event of a territorial expansion of their business activities.

Do you have any questions for patent expert Dr. Bertram Rapp, or would you like more in-depth advice?

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