/ Created by Andreas Thielmann

Changes in German Trademark Law

Trademark Law Modernization Act (MaMoG) expected to come into force on January 14, 2019

Düsseldorf, December 5, 2018 – The Trademark Law Modernization Act (MaMoG) is expected to enter into force on January 14, 2019. It is intended to transfer the requirements of the revised EU Trademark Law Directive 2015/2436 from December 16, 2015 (MRL) into German law. "The MaMoG does not mean a fundamental new regulation – but at least a few changes to which trademark owners and applicants should adjust," says Andreas Thielmann, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack.

The planned alterations include the specifications for the representation of registered trademarks: Up to now, it had to be possible to display these graphically. In future, it will be sufficient for them to be unambiguous and clearly identifiable. Thus, it may also be possible to register sound trademarks, multimedia trademarks, holograms, and other forms of trademarks.

The "warranty brand" is also intended to introduce a new brand category. This is characterized above all by the fact that it focuses on the guarantee function (and not on the origin).

Another important change concerns the term of protection: for trademarks registered from January 14, 2019 onwards, protection will expire exactly ten years after the filing date and not, as before, ten years after the end of the month in which the trademark was filed.

Changes can also be expected in deletion procedures: Efficient and speedy administrative procedures at the DPMA are meant to lead to the revocation or declaration of invalidity of trademarks. It is expected that from May 1, 2020, relative grounds for refusal (prior rights) as well as absolute grounds for refusal will be enforceable.

Numerous further changes are planned for opposition proceedings: In future, the holder of several prior rights will be able to assert them with a single opposition. The possibilities for opposition will also be expanded: New, additional grounds for opposition include protected geographical descriptions and protected designations of origin. The opposition fee will be adapted to this new system and the increased effort involved.

The DPMA has provided information about further planned changes of the MaMoG on its website.