If trademarks are part of your daily work, you have surely come across the issue before:  You have a registered trademark, but it is used differently in commerce – either because the trademark used has been modernized compared to its registered form, or because parts of the registered mark have been omitted when used or because parts have been added in comparison to the registered mark. In all these cases, the question arises whether or not use of the trademark in a form differing from the one registered can still be deemed use of the registered mark. Otherwise, your registered trademark might be at risk and action needs to be taken to ensure that no actual loss will occur. Guidance is now provided by the trademark offices of the European Union member states and the EUIPO.

(examples of similar, but different marks) Weiterlesen über UPDATE: GENUINE TRADEMARK USE


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)


A trademark is a sign protected by law, serving to distinguish goods and services of one enterprise from those of another. Besides it implies the following functions of:

-  origin

-  communication

-  guarantee

There are different types of trademarks:
-  Expressions, letters or numbers  (wordmark),

-  A picture or logo (figurative mark), as well as the combination of words and pictures (word-design mark);

-  A color or a combination of colors (color mark);

-  Three-dimensional shapes (3-D-mark),

-  Radio-jingles or a combination of a melody (sound mark);

-  Slogans and even gestures (move mark)