Online Trademark Registration Germany (DEOTAS)

 

How to register German trademarks online?

STEP 1:

Determine whether you need a trademark protection.

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.

STEP 2:

Determine whether you should hire a German trademark attorney for legal consultation and/or conduct trademark research. Legal fees will vary based on the time expended, which will depend on the complexity of the task at hand. Surveys suggest that fees of qualified German patent and trademark attorneys range from 250.00 € to 750.00 € per hour when billed hourly. If you are willing to incure such costs, the attorneys will do the rest of the work. Otherwise go to Step 3.

STEP 3:

Identify your mark format :

A standard character mark or a stylized/design mark.

The standard character format should be used to register word(s), letter(s), number(s) or any combination thereof, without claim to any particular font style, size, or color, and absent any design element. Registration of a mark in the standard character format will provide broad rights, namely use in any manner of presentation.  

The stylized/design format, on the other hand, is appropriate if you wish to register a mark with a design element and/or word(s) and/or letter(s) having a particular stylized appearance that you wish to protect.  

STEP 4:

Identify clearly the precise goods and/or services to which the mark will apply.

STEP 5:

Search the DPMA (German Trademark and Patent Office) database to determine whether anyone is already claiming trademark rights in a particular mark through a federal registration.  

STEP 6:

Identify the proper "basis" for filing a german trademark application.

STEP 7:

File the application online through our Online Trademark Application System (DEOTAS)

Please note, that DEOTAS is not operated by the German Patent Office (DPMA). DPMA presently accepts only trademark applications through paper submissions or DPMAdirekt software combined with signature cards making it practically inaccessible for foreign applicants. Furthermore, applicants - even German nationals - having neither a domicile, nor a seat or an establishment in Germany can only take part in IP proceedings before the DPMA, if they are represented by an attorney-at-law or a patent attorney authorised to practice in Germany. DEOTAS will provide such legal representation und transforms your applications into the legally required form. However, this can not be done in real time. The process can last beween 1 hour and 2 days. Therefore, do do not use DEOTAS in case of narrow deadlines.

Please be informed that the DPMA application fee is a processing fee, that is not refunded, even if DPMA ultimately no registration certificate issues; not all applications result in registrations; and that all information you submit to DEOTAS at any point in the application and/or registration process may become DPMA public record, including your name and street address.

STEP 7: DEOTAS Reviews Application

 

After the DEOTAS determines that you have met the minimum filing requirements and after receipt of all fees, an application serial number is assigned. An German Lawyer will be appointed as Trademark Representative and the application will be forwarded to the German Trademark Office (DPMA). Please note, that -unless otherwise agreed- the application will not be transferred to DMPA before all due fees are paid.

STEP 8: Office Reviews Application

German Trademark Office reviews the application to determine whether it complies with all applicable rules and statutes, and includes all required fees.  This may take a number of months. Fillng fees will not be refunded by German Trademark Office or DEOTAS, even if the application is later refused registration on legal grounds.

STEP 9: Office Issues Letter (Office Action)

If the examining attorney decides that a mark should not be registered, the examining attorney will issue a letter (Office action) explaining any substantive reasons for refusal, and any technical or procedural deficiencies in the application.  If only minor corrections are required, the examining attorney may contact DEOTAS und DEOTAS will contact the applicant by e-mail (if the applicant has authorized communication by e-mail).  If DEOTAS sends an Office action, the applicant's response to the Office action must be received in the Office within 6 weeks of the mailing date of the Office action, or the application will risk to be declared abandoned .

STEP 10: DPMA Publishes Mark

If the DPMA raises no objections to registration, or if the applicant overcomes all objections, DPMA will approve the mark for publication in the Trade Mark Journal, the online publication of the DPMA. After the mark is published in the Trade Mark Journal, any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has three month from the publication date to file either an opposition to registration or a request to extend the time to oppose.  If no opposition is filed or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the application enters the next stage of the registration process.

STEP 11 DPMA Issues Certification of Trademark

DPMA will issue Certification of Trademark und DEOTAS will forward a copy to you through email.

 

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