How do I get a Trademark?
A trademark is obtained in most countries via a registration (not mere use). The protection of a trademark covers only the territory and the goods and services for which the trademark was registered.
On a territorial level there are different possibilities:
- Application and registration at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) in Munich for German trademarks (http://www.dpma.de/). German trademarks can claim protection in Germany only
- Application and Registration at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante, Spain, for Community Trademarks (http://www.oami.eu/). A Community Trademark or EU-Trademark covers all EU Member States (currently 27)
- Application and Registration at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, for International Registrations (http://www.wipo.org/). Via an International Registration you can achieve the protection of the trademark in more than 85 countries.
- Acquisition of secondary meaning as a result of using a non-registrable or a descriptive trademark.
Goods and services:
The applicant has to indicate the goods and services for which he is seeking protection. The goods and services are subdivided in 45 classes (the so called „Nice Classification“). E.g. electronic goods are contained in class 9, paper goods in class 16, advertising services in class 35. You can research the classes and appropriate goods and services at OHIM's Euronice Database.
Term of protection:
The trademark is protected for 10 years from the day of its application. With payment of the renewal fee, the trademark can be protected endlessly every 10 years.
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