Trademark & Design Law (Industrial Property)
Brands and designs serve recognition purposes and often account for corporate values that are considerate. Consumers are generally willing to pay more for branded products than for unbranded products. Trademark protection can be obtained by registering a sign in the form of word marks or word and figurative marks in the German trademark register or the register of European Union trademarks at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). However, trademark protection can also arise in other ways, such as through the use of a sign that has acquired recognition by the relevant public as a trademark (so-called use trademark).
The existence of a trademark right can protect against competitors using the same or a similar sign for goods or services, thereby preventing exploitation of the reputation of a trademark.
Like the trademark, the registered design is also an industrial property right. Its purpose is to protect an aesthetic appearance of almost all industrially or manually producible products for a limited period of time, for example, foodstuffs, toys, consumer goods or packaging design. If a registered design is new and has an individual character at the time of registration, it is protected against any unauthorised use and against any imitation.