A trademark is a sign that identifies the goods and services of a company and distinguishes them from other companies’ goods and services. Company names, product names, even band names, logos and slogans can be protected as a trademark.

Most commonly trademarks are used and registered as word marks and figurative marks or combined word/figurative marks. They allow the proprietor to provide its customers with advertising information that is to be associated with the origin or quality of the product. The trademark is therefore the distinguishing feature for your customers. The customers combine a specific company as well as the quality of the products with the trademark. In order to put a stop to free-riders, you should consider filing a trademark application at an early stage.

However, registered trademarks do not apply to all goods and services, but the goods and services for which the trademark should be protected, have to be listed in the register. All of the listed goods and services must also be used seriously under this trademark within the respective country-specific time limits, otherwise the loss of the trademark protection for the unused goods and services is imminent.

The safest protection of a trademark can be achieved by registering in the respective register. Principally territoriality applies here. This means that the scope of the trademark extends only in the particular country in which the trademark is registered.

Trademark protection can be renewed every 10 years in most countries and is unlimited in time. This makes the registered trademark a very strong and long-lasting property right.