Trademark law includes the commercial protection of brands, but also, among other things, the protection of company symbols (branding), geographical indications of origin, Internet domains or names.

According to Section 3 I of the Trademark Act, trademarks are all signs that are suitable for distinguishing the goods or services of one company from those of other companies. In trademark law, signs can be, for example: words, letters, sounds, shapes, three-dimensional designs or colors. In trademark law, a distinction is made primarily between word and image trademarks, although combinations are possible.

In order to obtain trademark protection, you must generally register your trademark with the Patent Office (DPMA) and have it registered. National trademark protection can also arise under trademark law through long-term use of a trademark in legal transactions and the acquisition of a high degree of recognition. In order to obtain EU-wide trademark protection, you can register a so-called community trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Trademark protection that goes beyond the borders of the EU is also possible under trademark law, a so-called IR trademark.

A brand is protected under trademark law not only from identical brands, but also from similar brand names with a risk of confusion. It should be noted that only the goods and services for which the trademark was registered are protected under trademark law. The duration of trademark protection under trademark law is basically: 10 years, but can if necessary. be extended.

Themengebiete im Markenrecht sind beispielsweise:

  • Registration procedure (national, European, international)
  • Nice trademark classification
  • Protectability of a trademark
  • Identity and similarity research
  • Exploitation of brands
  • Injunctive relief or other claims
  • Warning in trademark law
  • Brands and Internet domains


Trademark law is primarily regulated in the Trademark Act, but also in the BGB and UWG, among others. At the EU level, the Trademark Directive (89/104/EEC) is particularly worth mentioning in trademark law, as is the Madrid Trademark Agreement (MMA) at the international level.

On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about the basic principles of trademark law.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of trademark law: