Law firm for trade mark law

Effective Portfolio Management

We manage the portfolios of medium-sized companies and major international corporations with over 1,000 brands.

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From defining the registration strategy to examining protectability and ongoing collision monitoring, our team specialises in the support and further development of sophisticated trademark and design portfolios.

Through our international network of leading law firms, we are able to register and defend trademarks and designs in all relevant jurisdictions.

At HARTE-BAVENDAMM, we think strategically, advise convincingly and act decisively – for the best protection of your industrial property rights.

Administrative Proceedings

We help you to register trademarks and protect them against cancellation in all proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and the EUIPO.

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Our team has many years of experience in application, opposition, cancellation and appeal proceedings before the DPMA and the Federal Patent Court (BPatG).

Europe is our playing field: We are experts in proceedings before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and actions before the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg (GC).

Thanks to our standardised processes and many years of experience, we are able to act efficiently, quickly and cost-effectively even in complex administrative proceedings.

Trademark Disputes (Litigation)

We specialise in consistent and vigorous representation in all trademark disputes.

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Trademark infringement proceedings are our core competence: we fight to enforce and defend your trademarks and signs in court. We have won landmark judgements from the Federal Court of Justice and the European Court of Justice. However, our aim is not to make legal history, but to effectively realise your commercial interests.

Sometimes it is wiser to settle a dispute out of court. We recognise such cases and guide them to a solution that preserves your resources.

Whether it be a warning letter, interim injunction or court action: We work with our clients to determine the best strategy and implement it in a targeted manner.

Customs Procedures and Border Seizures

Effective and cost-efficient combating of counterfeit products and illegal parallel imports.

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Requests to the customs authorities may prevent the import and export of infringing goods at the external borders of the EU or Germany. The goods can be confiscated or directly destroyed.

We have well-established contacts with the German customs authorities, particularly at the Port of Hamburg and the international exhibition centres of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, and can coordinate procedures throughout Europe.

On the subject: From our IP blog

New GC decision ruling on the proof of use request
Caroline Trenner

Trademark owners are regularly confronted with the proof of use requirement in disputes before the national trademark offices or courts. After expiry of the 5-year grace period, trademarks that have not been put to genuine used may be declared invalid and thus removed from the register, or disregarded in opposition proceedings. This is because, in principle, anyone who registers a trademark must also make genuine use of it for the registered goods and services. This makes it all the more important for trademark owners whose marks are outside the grace period to be able to prove the genuine use of their marks.

The Super Sports Year 2024 — On Your Marks, Get Set, “Ambush”!
Ruven Appelkamp

The year 2024 not only provides an extra day in February, but above all one thing: sports, sports and more sports. With the European Men's Handball and Football Championships, two mega events are taking place in Germany this year. Then there is the European Women's Handball Championship, taking place inter alia in Switzerland and Austria, and of course the Summer Olympics in Paris. As always, numerous companies are ready and waiting to benefit from the pulling effect of such major events. Reason enough for us to shed some light on what you need to bear in mind with event-related advertising measures and what obstacles need to be overcome when it comes to so-called “ambush” marketing. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Frida Felixmüller, who joined us during her legal clerkship, for her great support with this article.

Model designation or trademark? – An overview of the change in case law on trademark infringements by model designations in the clothing sector
Lisa Kammann

In the fashion industry, first names are often used to designate clothing models. In recent years, this has led to a large number of legal disputes. In particular, the trademark “SAM”, “MO” and “Isha” has been used to issue warning letters to numerous companies that sold clothing models under these names or at least used these signs in their product descriptions. While the courts of instance initially ruled very generously in favour of trademark owners, the ruling practice has changed in recent years under the influence of the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) and trademark use and thus infringement has been assumed less frequently. The decisive factor for the question of trademark use is always whether the public perceives the first name as a (secondary) mark or as a mere model designation. Below we provide a brief overview of the change in case law and its practical relevance.

The use of (luxury) brands by resellers – Legal considerations illustrated by the case of Chanel vs. What Goes Around Comes Around
Michael Wittlinger

In New York, a legal dispute that has been pending since 2018 between the luxury company Chanel and the reseller What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA) is entering the next round. At the heart of the dispute are typical issues that arise time and again in disputes between (luxury) brand owners and commercial resellers. Reason enough for us to examine the limits of what is permissible under German and European trademark law.

Three reasons for HARTE-BAVENDAMM

Proven excellence

Satisfied clients, numerous top-tier rankings, major publications, extensive litigation experience: intellectual property law is our core competence.

IP is our passion

We represent your interests with ingenuity and dedication. We protect your intellectual property and develop creative strategies. Complex cases are our strength.

Consistently in your interest

As a strong partner, we advise our clients decisively, confidently and effectively. Even in tense conflict situations, our team always keeps a cool head and finds convincing solutions.