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Special corporate labels, logos, corporate names, icons, etc. can be protected as trademarks. Trademarks are registered for a term of ten years, with the option to renew the registration for another ten years any number of times. Thus, you may protect your trademark for an indefinite period of time.
The better known such corporate labeling becomes, the more it is bound to entice competitors to copy it or to approximate it. This can only be prevented by registering a given labeling as trademark, and doing so in due time.
Failure to register the rights to a given trademark leaves the trademark owner virtually unprotected: If a rival company enters the market with an identical product using the same name, the owner of such a trademark labeling rarely succeeds in preventing the use of the plagiarized label.
Worse yet: If the copycat registers the plagiarized label as trademark, its original creators is barred from any further usage of it, except where such usage is limited to the immediate in-house environment. In most cases, this renders any business expansion impossible.
National German Trademarks
Scope of application:
The registration as trademark is possible for the labeling of goods and/or services of a given company, e.g. distinctive words, distinctive icons, combined word-picture marks, figures, cable threads, sound marks, three-dimensional designs, or other trademark forms and packaging styles.
Purely descriptive statements, e.g. “heat resistant” or “compact”, “flash” and general qualifiers such as “super” or “top;” signifiers without differentiating quality.
In addition to being registered as a national trademark, a corporate label can also be protected as so-called community or IR trademark.
The community trademark represents a uniform trademark that is effective for all member states of the European Union (that is, excluding Switzerland and Norway).
Aside from these options, you can obtain protection for a trademark through an international registration as so-called IR trademark, currently covering up to 80 countries (including extra-European ones).