What is a trademark?
A trademark is used to identify the goods or services of a company. Signs which are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of a company from others are considered “patentable”. For instance: words, letters, numbers, pictures, but also colours and sound.
The protection of a trademark begins with the registration of this latter in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office. A trademark application has to be submitted and successively accepted in order for a trademark to be registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office. The protection of a trademark can also arise as a result of an intense use of a sign in business transactions or through notorious publicity.
By registering the trademark, the proprietor acquires the sole right to use the brand for protected goods and/or services. Trademarks may be sold at any time by the trademark owner. The proprietor of a trademark may also concede the right of use of his mark (Trademark license).
The DPMA does not verify if your trademark already exists in an identical or similar form, at the moment of registration; you should therefore already investigate whether the desired trademark infringes third parties rights before the application at the German Patent and Trademark Office.
A trademark can be renewed or extended indefinite times. It can, so to speak, live forever. If the renewal fees are not paid after 10 years or protection, however, the trademark will be deleted from the register.