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Trade Mark Search

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Conduct searches - not only before filing an application

Tips on online searches

Trade Mark Searches Online:
pdf-Datei Information brochure

Trade mark searches are important. They are the only way to check if your proposed trade mark does not infringe earlier rights. Even after registration of your trade mark, you should regularly carry out searches because this is the only way to efficiently defend your trade mark. Please also read our information brochure.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) does not check whether another trade mark exists that is identical or similar to your sign. For this reason, before filing a trade mark application, you should check to make sure that the trade mark selected does not infringe third party rights. Otherwise, an opposition might be lodged at the DPMA against your trade mark and it might have to be cancelled. Your trade mark might also be challenged by a cease-and-desist order or actions brought before the civil courts.

If you own a registered trade mark, you should also watch it and defend it. Trade mark searches, conducted at regular intervals, will help you. They provide information on newly registered trade marks and allow you to judge faster, for example, whether there is a likelihood of confusion with your own trade mark. If so, you can then initiate opposition or cancellation proceedings in time.

Conduct searches - not only before filing an application

Trade mark searches are important. They are the only way to check if your proposed trade mark does not infringe earlier rights. Even after registration of your trade mark, you should regularly carry out searches because this is the only way to efficiently defend your trade mark. Please also read our information brochure pdf-Datei Trade mark searches online.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) does not check whether another trade mark exists that is identical or similar to your sign. For this reason, before filing a trade mark application, you should check to make sure that the trade mark selected does not infringe third party rights. Otherwise, an opposition might be lodged at the DPMA against your trade mark and it might have to be cancelled. Your trade mark might also be challenged by a cease-and-desist order or actions brought before the civil courts.

If you own a registered trade mark, you should also watch it and defend it. Trade mark searches, conducted at regular intervals, will help you. They provide information on newly registered trade marks and allow you to judge faster, for example, whether there is a likelihood of confusion with your own trade mark. If so, you can then initiate opposition or cancellation proceedings in time.

Searching in the databases of the DPMA

In you can conduct German trade mark searches. The database contains trade mark applications, and registered and refused German national trade marks. Searches are free of charge.
When searching in DPMAregister, please note that you can find trade marks with features matching those of your trade mark application, but it is not possible to conduct a similarity search. An opposition against your trade mark may also be filed on the basis of a similar trade mark. Various commercial information brokers offer complex similarity searches.

Notice: In DPMAregister/Trade marks you can also search European Union trade marks (EM) and international registrations of marks (IR) having effect in Germany. However: the DPMA does not warrant the accuracy and completeness of these data. For conducting a full search on trade marks having effect in Germany and current legal status information, please use the databases of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Search for figurative elements of trade marks

Blank advertising space behind escalator

Figurative elements of trade marks and pure figurative marks are also searchable. The international classification of the figurative elements of marks, the "Wiener Klassifikation" (Vienna Classification), constitutes a hierarchical system that proceeds from the general to the particular, dividing all figurative elements into categories, divisions and sections.

In individual cases, explanatory notes have been added. The explanatory notes concern either the classification as a whole or any given category, division or section. The classification symbols allow you to look for trade marks with the same figurative elements in DPMAregister.

Find trade marks in the EUIPO and WIPO databases

Opposition against national trade marks may be based on earlier national trade marks but also on earlier EU trade marks or international registrations with national effect. For this reason, your searches for conflicting earlier rights should cover EU trade marks and international registrations, too. You can carry out searches within the following databases of the EUIPO and of WIPO:

  • eSearch plus: European Union trade marks
  • ROMARIN: international registrations of marks (DATABASE WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE STARTING LATE 2017)
  • Madrid Monitor: international registrations of marks (replaces ROMARIN)
  • TMview: EUIPO's search engine for trade marks and trade mark applications of all participating trade mark offices
  • Global Brand Database: WIPO's search engine for trade marks and trade mark applications from national and international sources (being set up)

Telephone directories, commercial registers, product directories ...

Furthermore, names and logos used in trade may infringe other trade mark rights even if they have not been entered in trade mark registers. For this reason, you should also look for identical or similar names in Internet search engines, telephone directories, commercial registers, publications on titles of works and/or business directories or other product directories.

Do you have any further questions?

  • You can contact the central customer care and services of the DPMA (phone: +49 89 2195-1000).
  • The search support database hotline (phone: +49 89 2195-3435) will be pleased to answer your questions on searches.
  • Expert staff provide assistance in the search rooms of the DPMA in Munich and Berlin. There, all services offered by the DPMA are available to you.
  • The patent information centres (Patentinformationszentren) also provide expert assistance to you.
  • Searches are also offered by commercial information brokers and patent search agents which you can find via all major Internet search engines.

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Picture 1: iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic, Picture 2: iStock.com/TeerawatWinyarat

Last updated: 23/11/17 

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