I - M
Indications of Geographical Origin
Certain foodstuffs and agricultural products, for example, fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and meat products, cheese, bread, pastry and beer can be protected as geographical indications. This is a Europe-wide IP right. The legal basis is the Regulation (EU) no. 1151/2012 with the German implementing provisions in Sections 130 to 136 Trade Mark Act (Markengesetz).
Industrial property rights
Industrial property rights comprise patents, utility models, trade marks and designs rights. They provide protection to inventors or enterprises against copying by competitors for a limited period of time. Trade marks can even be renewed indefinitely.
International Patent Classification (IPC)
Utility models and patents are classified by categories according to technological fields. The IPC is a hierarchical system in which all fields of technology are divided into sections, classes, subclasses, groups and subgroups (for example: Section G - Physics, class G 10 - musical instruments, subclass G 10 C - pianos).
An invention comprises a problem and a solution: a new and not obvious technical teaching allowing to solve a problem by technical means. In addition, it must be possible to perform and repeat the invention.
Inventive step (inventiveness)
An invention is deemed to involve an inventive step if it is not obvious to a skilled person in the light of the state of the art. To qualify for patent protection, an invention must clearly differ from prior art (inventiveness).
Applicants can apply for IP rights themselves. It is at the applicant's discretion to decide whether to seek the help of a lawyer or patent attorney. However, applicants who do not have their residence in Germany must be represented in respect of the application by an authorized lawyer or patent attorney.
More information on the website Legal representative.
Likelihood of confusion
There is a likelihood of confusion for trade marks if the public is under the impression that the goods or services bearing the later trade mark come from the company of the owner of the earlier trade mark.
List of goods and services
Trade marks identify products and services. Therefore, when applying for trade mark registration, the goods and services should be exactly indicated in a list of goods and services so that they can be clearly attributed to the appropriate classes of goods and services. This will help to clearly delimit the scope of protection of a trade mark in case of a later dispute.
International agreement establishing a classification for designs to be registered.
Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
International agreement on the protection of trade marks within the scope of the Paris Convention.
Last updated: 8 May 2020