Which signs may serve as marks?

Possible manifestations are words, letters, figures, graphical representations, three-dimensional marks (Toblerone®-package, Mercedes®-star), acoustical signs, and identification threads of textiles, abstract colours as well as slogans and combinations of any of the above.

May foreign-language signs be chosen?

Basically yes. German, French, Italian or English terms, which merely translate or praise (e.g. "Masterpiece") the claimed goods or services however may not be registered.

May colours be included into the protection?

Basically for each sign you may assert a claim for a specific colour. However, colours as such (the orange colour of Ovomaltine®) may only be registered exceptionally, that is when the sign has been used as trademark for a long time and therefore has become accepted in the market.

Which signs are excluded from registration?

Signs offensive to the public order (e.g. swastika), deceptive signs ("Tango Kashmir" for synthesised clothing), advertising signs ("SUPER") are non-registrable as well as signs in the public domain, as far as such signs have not become accepted in the market due to their long-term use.

Can a sign belonging to the public domain be registered?

As far as the sign chosen belongs to the public domain as a term, it may be possibly registered due to its graphic design. However, in this case no protection will be obtained against the use of the sign in the public domain by a third party using a different design.



Logos: Pure figurative marks use the power of visualization. They count - think of the famous "Nestlé Bird's Nest" - the oldest trademark.