Anwalt Deutschland Fachanwalt deutsch German Lawyer Germany English language Attorney-at-law English Lawyer germany french advocat francais allemagne French Attorney in Germany spanish language abogado alemania Spanish Attorney/ Lawyer in Germany Italian language avvocatto germania Italian Lawyer/ Attorney Germany Portuguese language advogado Alemanha Portuguese Polish speaking Lawyer/ Attorney in Germany adwokat Niemcy Polish Japanese speaking Lawyer/ Attorney in Germany Bengoshi Doitsu Japanese Attorney/ Lawyer Vietnamese language luat su Vietnamese Korean speaking lawyer/ attorney in Germany, Europe Korean Chinese language Lawyer/ Attorney in Germany/ Europe Chinese Lawyer/ Attorney russian speaking advokat Germaniya Russian




Attorneys at law

Law Office Lawyers/ Patent Attorneys Main practice areas Legal matters Client Service Litigation Free templates Offices Brochures Contact News Press FAQ
Competition law  Copyright law  Trademark law  Design law  Patent law  Media law  Online law  Food law  Public law  ITC

German Lawyer patent attorney Germany trademark attorney design attorney european law german attorney hannover germany based attorney at law for ip law it law competition law european law and regulations in germany litigation file suits representative  file german trademark law tm  competition copyright design food law media law patents contract law online law internet law patent law design protection file german patent utility model law lawyer it law contract law agricultural law architectural law banking law civil cervis law domain law employee inventions law financial penalties law food law guarantee law labour law land law pharma law state aid law waste law

Start  IP Application Services  Contact  Online enquiry  Imprint  Data Protection



...Start ...Main practice areas ...Online law
Main practice areas
Administrative law
Agricultural law
Animal law
Anti Trust law
Architectural law
Banking law
Brokerage law
Business law
Capital Market law
Civil law
Civil service law
Commercial law
Commercial Criminal law
Competition law
Construction law
Contract law
Copyright law
Corporate law
Cosmetic law
Customs law
Data protection law
Design law
Distribution law
Domain law
Domain Arbitration law
Education law
Employee invention law
Energy law
Engineering law
Environment law
European law
Event law
Family law
Film law
Financial penalties law
Fiscal Offences law
Food law
Gambling law
Guarantee law
Higher Education law
Image rights
Industrial law
Inheritance law
Insolvency law
Insurance law
International law
International Trade law
Internet law
IP law
IT law
Labour law
Land law
Law on associations
M&A law
Mail order law
Media law
Medical malpractice law
Medical Products law
Medicine law
MLM law
Music law
Online law
Patent law
Pharma law
Plant variety law
Photography law
Press law
Publishing law
Public commercial law
Public procurement law
Purchasing law
Real Estate law
Restaurant law
Sales representaves rights
Sports law
State Aid law
Students rights
Tax law
Technology law
Tenancy law
Telecommunications law
Terms and conditions law
Tort law
Trademark law
Traffic law
Transport law/Shipping law
Waste law
Wine law
Attorneys at Law Hannover
Patent Attorneys
Georgstr. 48
30159 Hannover (Hauptsitz)
Fon +49 511.35 73 56-0
Fax +49 511.35 73 56-29
Attorneys at Law Berlin
Patent Attorneys
Wittestraße 30 K
13509 Berlin
Fon +49 30.403 66 69-00
Fax +49 30.403 66 69-09
Attorneys at Law Bielefeld
Patent Attorneys
Herforder Str. 69
33602 Bielefeld
Fon +49 521.43 06 06-60
Fax +49 521.43 06 06-69
Attorneys at Law Bremen
Patent Attorneys
Parkallee 117
28209 Bremen
Fon +49 421.33 11 12-90
Fax +49 421.33 11 12-99
Attorneys at Law Düsseldorf
Patent Attorneys
Grafenberger Allee 293
40237 Düsseldorf
Fon +49 211.97 26 95-00
Fax +49 211.97 26 95-09
Attorneys at Law Frankfurt/ Main
Patent Attorneys
Alfred-Herrhausen-Allee 3-5
65760 Frankfurt-Eschborn
Fon +49 69.380 79 74-20
Fax +49 69.380 79 74-29
Attorneys at Law Hamburg
Patent Attorneys
Colonnaden 5
20354 Hamburg
Fon +49 40.882 15 83-10
Fax +49 40.882 15 83-19
Attorneys at Law Munich
Patent Attorneys
Landsberger Str. 155
80687 Munich

Fon +49 89.250 07 90-50
Fax +49 89.250 07 90-59
Attorneys at Law Stuttgart
Patent Attorneys
Königstraße 80
70173 Stuttgart
Fon +49 711.99 58 55-90
Fax +49 711.99 58 55-99
Patent Attorneys Vienna
Trauttmansdorffgasse 8
1130 Vienna
Fon +43 1.876 15 17
Fax +49 511.35 73 56-29


Online law

What is a domain name?

A domain name is an “electronic” address enabling computers to communicate with other computers (which have an address as well) via the internet. Domain names can be used as addresses for e-mail, websites and so forth.

For instance, a website within the www (World Wide Web) can be accessed by requesting HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and defines the protocol for communication (such communication requires mutual “understanding” of the “language” and thus a standardised protocol). .de represents the so-called TLD (Top Level Domain). “Top Level” means that according to the code .de a server in Germany is accessed or rather addressed. Apart from such national Top Level Domains (.at for Austria, .ch for Switzerland and so on) there are the following conventional TLDs: .com for commercial enterprises, .org for non-commercial institutions, .net for network providers, .edu for educational institutions (the latter especially in the USA). The Second Level Domain iprecht followed by the TLD separated by a dot represents the complete (basic) address. then is an example of an e-mail address and is an example of a website address –. The latter is a complete URL (Uniform Resource Locator), since the added index.htm points to a particular file located on a computer with the address in the www. htm or html describes the “language” of the file “index” as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).

Domain names such as can be accessed from all over the world. This means that the domain name is used only once worldwide. could be used by another domain owner, though. Similarly, or a similar domain name could be used by third parties. Even the slightest deviation of just one sign or another TLD point to another -similarly unique -address.

What should be taken into consideration when choosing a domain?

Consider the example of finding a name for a law office named “Horak Rechtsanwälte” with the respective subtitle “Horak Weber Lehr Horak”. Appropriate domain names could be among others,, Another option might be or The latter names are relatively long though and thus quite impractical. The name on the contrary, is a short imaginary acronymic term.

Usually, quite a number of activities in an enterprise can be handled via internet (by means of a computer). This number is most likely to be increasing steadily. Manufacturers, merchants, service providers and others can offer or at least present their services on a worldwide platform available at any moment. The way things are now, e-commerce or B2B (business to business) seems to provide an opportunity for all participants to develop new information, sales or marketing strategies. A company’s real address in a prestigious location can be replaced by a domain name and online contents that place the company in a similarly prestigious position at a cost below comparison. The domain name is a central aspect in all possible internet activities of a company.

In order to locate this website or to e-mail us, you have to know our domain name. Therefore, the name of a company or trademark should easy to remember. Short domain names are typically preferred. The following basic principles should be taken into consideration when determining what your domain name will be:

  • It is in principle out of question to use existing trademarks, company names, advertising slogans etc. of third parties as one’s own domain name (it is recommendable research if certain trademarks or company names already exist). The same applies to “similar” terms and in principle to authorities, communities and the like. As a rule, the legal owner has “better right” to his domain name and can thus possibly claim its use. Using such names may be highly fined.
  • You should avoid using purely generic terms, such us “”, “”, “” etc., since their legal status is still unclear. An option is to merely register a domain name, without offering any contents or with general contents only. The Higher Regional Court in Hamburg considered the domain name “”, a highly generic term for a platform for people willing to share a flat, to be violating competition law. An appeal to the Federal Supreme Court has not been ruled on yet, but was accepted (i.e. worth considering).
  • You can often use your company’s name, its abbreviation an so on to your advantage. This name, however, might have already been assigned. It is a typical of the internet that a name has already been used someplace else in this world – who is entitled to the name can in most cases be decided out of court and usually depends upon whose rights to the name are the oldest and which nationalities are involved (sometimes certain variations of a domain name can be considered).
  • You should avoid using misleading domain names as well as names that violate competition law or that are illegal in any other way, shape or fashion.
  • To a certain degree, the service offered is often reflected in the imaginary term.
  • If not all TLDs are available for the domain name of your choice, it might be necessary to examine the ones already registered, since the domain owners might have already acquired a right to the name by already using it with another TLD. If, on the contrary, all TLDs are still available, it is advisable to consider multiple registration. Usually, .de and .com are relevant for a company operating in Germany. In some cases you might consider registering for all German-speaking countries (.ch, .de, .at). Similar domains should be registered as well, so that potential users of your website will find the right address even when they do not use the exact spelling.

If your desired domain name has already been assigned, there are the following alternative solutions. You might choose an alternative name, but sometimes you can just choose another TLD, as long as it does not infringe the rights of the owner of a domain already existing or another third party. Another solution is making the current domain owner “sell” his domain. Lastly, the current domain owner can assert no or  “worse” rights to the domain and thus make the domain available.

What is the relationship of domain names to trademarks?

Registering a domain at a private institution does not automatically give you the absolute right, but merely relative rights. The absolute right includes the right against “everyone” (e.g. trademark right), relative rights on the contrary are usually a contractual regulation between two parties which do not interfere with the rights of third parties. If an internet service provider registers a domain at DENIC, certain facts change (the name is assigned and cannot be assigned for the second time), but does not change the legal status against third parties. If a third party has a trademark right to the name, he can claim the release of the domain name.

Exploitation of a domain can create trademark protection, possibly in the form of the so called title protection. There are, however, substantial differences:

  • Trademark protection results from a registration of concrete services or goods in a particular country. Accordingly, trademark protection exists only in that respective country, and not in others. A domain is accessible either worldwide or nowhere.
  • In the area of domain names, there is no risk of “confusion” or “similarity”. If the trademark “iprecht” is registered in Germany as a trademark for legal counselling at the Trademark Office, the protection is extended to include similar names and services. A domain as such without further rights, does not have such a “protection area”, which means that even the slightest alternatives can be registered.
  • The owner of a trademark is obliged to exploit his trademark, otherwise trademark rights expire. This does not apply to a domain owner, who is not obliged to exploit his domain.
  • Trademarks are registered for specific goods/services. Therefore, it is possible that one trademark is registered for two different companies with different products. Thus, another enterprise might register the trademark “iprecht” for bicycles without infringing the trademark right. This does not apply to domains. If two enterprises want the same domain, this leads to a conflict, regardless of the activity or the seat of the enterprise, the latter concerning especially .com-domains.

What is the use of registering a trademark?

Registering a trademark can provide supportive protection against third parties and is recommended, since a registered trademark, contrary to a domain, secures a sole right (spatially limited as it may be). Thus, a trademark might create legal certainty. However, not every term is suitable for a trademark, and moreover, there might be rights already existing to the name, so that additional trademark protection is sometimes redundant (e.g. company names).

Domain grabbing

Trade with domain names, i.e. registration without use, sale and purchase are not per se illegal, but nothing to complain about.

However, some of the domains offered for sale have been registered because there are more or less known respective companies, brands, etc., that are supposed to buy the domain name at the highest possible price. This activity, called domain grabbing, is illegal and enterprises that have suffered from it might claim a release, without having to pay any “purchasing price” for it.

Steps to protection of a domain

While looking for a domain name, you should first of all pay attention to the rights of third parties. This requires constant research as far as the availability of a domain is concerned.

Moreover, from the legal point of view, a trademark search is advisable, in order to avoid infringement of a trademark. Such a search should cover company names as well. In many cases, similarity search is also advisable.

When a search concerning trademarks, company names and domain names has been completed successfully, the domain can be registered. Afterwards, you should investigate if a trademark registration is advisable.

What information do we need in order to secure your rights?

We need the following information to check and verify the registration of domain names:

  • Name of the domain, including the desired TLD (e.g. .de, .com), and, if necessary, alternative names
  • Name and address of the potential domain owner
  • Description of the occupation of the domain owner (one sentence is usually enough)
  • Data on a trademark application or registration for an identical or similar term (if available)
  • Name, address, phone and fax number of the person who will be responsible for the administration of the domain (the so called admin-c) as well as the person who will be responsible for technical matters (the so called admin-tech)
  • Do you want us to perform research concerning the domain, trademark and companies and do you want us to check the possibility of registration of a trademark?

Please contact

Michael Horak, graduate engineer, LL.M.


German IP Law, Information relating to patents, trademarks and licences, with further reading comprising judgements, commentaries, downloads and links

IT Law Germany: Information on IT law, online law and domain law

horak law office germany hannover lawyer representative compliance design infringement warning letter business start up law guarantee warranty liability border seizure leasing trademark infringement mediation minimum wage patent attorney patent infringement pro bono legal advice piracy product piracy brand piracy counterfeit litigation arbitration disputes renovation compensation online sales youtube pinterest instagram copyright infringement deutsch german law german court lawyer litigator german litigator hannover english


 trademarks patents designs law lawyer german law firm litigator litigation file court suit attorney Germany patent attorney agricultural law architectural law contract law employee inventions law medical malpractice law pharma law terms and conditions law gtc waste law print  attorney at law hannover germany europe trademark competition law save attorney solicitor hannover stuttgart berlin munich german law firmback  german law european law european lawyer specialist expert german law competition law germany copyright law german design lawyer food attorney media law germany online and computer lawyers patent law patent application telecommunications law office trademark law firm classical and modern physics solid state physics mechanics Laser Physics Electrical electronic radiofrequency technologies Telecommunications telematics Mechatronics Information Technology Data Processing Technology image processing technology semiconductor technology consumer electronics computer hardware IT technology software telecommunications automation optics Atomic Physics Molecular Physics Engineering Construction Automotion shipbuilding aircraft Drive Technology Control Technology Process Engineering Production Engineering Production Technology Packaging Paper Technique Product Development Measurement Control Engineering Process Technology Appliances Small Appliances Food Technology Aerospace safety technology power plant technology material technology steelmaking alloys nanotechnology plastics energy technology renewable energy Life Sciences Medical Biology Biophysics biotechnology Microbiology Cell Biology Neurobiology Molecular Biology gene therapy bioinformatics Pharmacy Pharmacology agents Biochemistry Chemistry Physical Chemistry Organic Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Pharma antibody technology biosimilar generic diagnostic plant biotechnology diagnostic technology implants Immunology enzyme replacement therapy proteins muteins enzymes Transgenic cytokines, ribozymes, antisense RNA, RNAi Virology GM microorganisms plants animals human medicine food polymers catalysts lithography PhotographyOnline-Request