Wordmarks & Figurative Marks
Trademarks play a large part in our everyday lives. Products offered by well-known producers are more successful, are quickly recognised by customers, and are thus often of great value. Further, people tend to associate trademarks with a particular level of quality, or a reputation. Therefore, innovatively labelling your products does not only serve brand recognition, but also has an advertising function for a particular product. Trademarks are protected by the law of intellectual property to prevent other producers from using the name and labelling of a trademark for their own products. This useful step enables producers to market different products to potential customers exclusively under one brand, while using different associations.
Trademark Registration in Germany
This requires the registration of your trademark. Factually, registration itself is a simple process. However, on the legal level, many questions will often arise prior to this. Has a similar trademark already been registered? Am I still allowed to register my own trademark at all? What is the scope of trademark protection? Our trademark lawyers will answer any questions you may have about trademark law and will help secure your rights.
What is a “wordmark”?
A wordmark can consist of words and letters, as well as numbers and other characters. Such a mark is protected in any form. This includes capitalisation or lack thereof and common spellings. Letters and numbers, as well as commonly used symbols and punctuation marks (such as “:,+,-,?,!“), count as “characters”.
Figurative Marks and Word and Figurative Marks
Characters that go beyond the scope of a wordmark are often classified as figurative or “word and figurative marks”. Wordmarks whose main feature is the visual design of the writing are also considered word and figurative marks. Relevant criteria are, for instance, whether the words are printed in bold or in italics, and their position in different lines or overall. Further, the writing in a word and figurative mark is not necessarily protected, as the visual design is the protected matter in this case.
Figurative marks are images and elements which do not contain any elements of writing. These distinctions can be fluid. Trademark registration may, in some circumstances, not be possible or, due to a lack of protected elements, helpful. Our lawyers will advise you in all trademark law questions, in particular relating to trademark examination, protection, and registration.