How do I secure a company name

How can I get my company name protected?

 

Why you should have your company name protected as a trademark

Once you have found the perfect company name for your company, it is always advisable to register as a trademark. When you get your company name protected as a trademark, you get one exclusive right to the brand name in the appropriate area. This gives you a great advantage in dealing with competitors who abuse your company name.

Copycats are common

This can happen very quickly to an inexperienced start-up: If you have an innovative idea for a certain product or service and are successful with it, this happens frequently Imitators who shamelessly use your name as a vehicle for success. For example, you can find offers on platforms such as Amazon or eBay that are labeled with your own success name. If you have your company name protected as a trademark, you can have these offers deleted relatively easily by notifying the platform operators Trademark certificate with the protected company name submits. Some online trading platforms even have their own brand monitoring tool, e.g. B. the Amazon brand registration or the VeRI reporting tool from eBay.

If the name is used by a competitor in the same or a similar field, you cannot use just one Force omissionbut also, if necessary, claim damages, for example in the form of "infringer's profit". In order to calculate the amount of the infringer's profit, it must be checked what profit the “infringer” of the trademark protection from the Trademark Infringement and whether certain costs are to be deducted from it.

Uniqueness must be protected: register your brand with firma.de!

Which company names can you have legally protected?

In order to find out whether a company name is suitable for trademark protection, it is essential to check whether the name meets the following criteria before applying for a trademark:

Your company name must be distinctive

General terme such as “office chair” when selling office chairs or “pasta” when selling types of pasta are not suitable as a company name. Also Attributes like "cheap" or "delicious", which are often used in advertising are not distinctive enough to be protected as names.

Your company name must be available as a trademark

Make sure to check whether your desired company name is still available. To do this, you should consult all available trademark registers (if necessary also in other European and international countries) from your business area and find out whether similar or even identical names are already under trademark protection. Make sure you also consult that commercial register. Often companies are registered there that have not (yet) applied for trademark protection in their names. In order to avoid conflicts, you should either choose a different name in such a case or you should contact yourself as soon as possible, i. H. Register as a trademark before your competitors. Sometimes similar brand names can coexist. However, this is often difficult for laypeople to assess.

An extensive name search should always be carried out before a company name is used and not only when a company name is used Application for trademark protection is provided. Because the trademark offices will reimburse you Failure to register fees not back! In addition, we recommend that you also check during the name research whether domains containing your name are still available. It is best to pay attention to alternative spellings and typing errors.

Your company name must not contain a national emblem

Your company name must not contain any symbols of national sovereignty, so-called “national emblems”. State sovereignty refers to officials and functionaries such as the police, the armed forces or the federal government. For example, you are not allowed to name your company “Federal Chancellor” or “Federal Court of Justice”. The improper use of national emblems will be prosecuted.

Your company name must not violate common decency or public order

You cannot protect an immoral name. That means words that violate current social and legal morals, may not be registered as a company name. The disparagement of existing company names and real persons in one's own company name is also taboo (Section 1 UWG). Otherwise you have to pay damages (§ 826 BGB).

Don't let your company name be misleading

You can't trademark a name that could mislead your customers. For example, your company name must not contain any location attributes that do not apply to your location or indicate ecological production if this was actually carried out conventionally.

 

Have your company logo protected too!

Brand protection is not only worthwhile for the company name. The company logo, in particular, is often the first thing that customers notice about your company and therefore your most important figurehead. Since designing a distinctive and attractive company logo takes a lot of time and money for a specialist, it is all the more important to have this company logo protected. Because here, too, there is a risk that imitators will abuse your logo and enrich themselves at your expense. If you have your company logo protected as a figurative mark, you have the right to do something against these imitators and, if necessary, to claim damages.

The same rules apply to brand protection for company logos as for company names. Here, too, the following conditions must be met:

  • Distinctive character
  • Availability
  • No national emblems included
  • Neither immoral nor disorderly
  • Not misleading

 

Have your company name protected as a trademark: Registration in Germany

In order to register and protect your company name, it is best to register a Word mark at. With this you protect one Sequence of letters, numbers and / or special characters. Register a word / picture mark, protect additional lettering and an illustration. This is particularly recommended to protect a company logo.

To register your company name or your company logo as a trademark in Germany, contact the German Trademark and Patent Office (DPMA) an application for trademark registration. You can register by post, in person, by fax or online. After about three to four months, your company name will be registered and you can enforce the relevant property rights. A trademark registered in Germany offers reliable legal protection and can be used as a Basis for international trademark registrations serve.

 

Trademark registration in and outside the EU

If your company is active within the EU, it is worth registering the company name as EU trade mark or EU certification mark. To do this, you need to contact the European Union Intellectual Property Organization (EUIPO). Here, too, both the post and personal or electronic registration can be used.

If you want to register your company name or logo outside of the EU, register an IR mark with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). You choose in which of the 126 contracting states of the Madrid Agreement your registration should apply. However, since international filings are expensive and one more time-consuming research work these are not recommended for start-ups.

 

Include free domains in research

Before applying for a trademark, always research whether the domain for the company name you want is still available! Because the best name is of no use to you if you cannot use it for your Internet presence or if confusion is inevitable.

 

How long is the trademark protection of a company name valid?

If an application for the protection of a trademark is accepted, the trademark registration is initially for a period of 10 years valid and can be extended as often as you like. However, every extension is associated with costs. At the DPMA, for example, the extension of a trademark with three classes costs 750 euros.

 

Can I have a company name entered in the commercial register for protection?

In principle, the entry in the commercial register does not protect against someone else claiming the name for themselves. If certain conditions are met, a company name can simply be used as a Company identification to be protected. This form of protection is valid when a large number of buyers of the products or services of a brand assign exactly this brand to a company. However, this is usually difficult to prove in practice. In this respect, it is advisable to have your company name or logo protected as a trademark. With this type of protection, it is legally much easier to prohibit another company from using the company name.

Why have the company name entered in the commercial register?

In order to protect your company name, the entry in the commercial register is of little use, but there are a few other reasons why an entry is useful or even mandatory. Entry in the commercial register is mandatory if your company “requires commercial operations”. This means that the company has the Regulations of the Commercial Code (HGB). For example, the company must follow the principles of proper bookkeeping (GoB), which are defined in Section 243 of the German Commercial Code (HGB). As a sole proprietorship, entry in the commercial register is not absolutely necessary. However, a voluntary entry is possible. This has certain advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of an entry in the commercial register

  • Fantasy names can be given instead of the full name of the owner
  • Gaining confidence in banks and companies
  • Company name is protected in the area of ​​the responsible local court

 

Disadvantages of an entry in the commercial register

  • Notary and local court costs
  • Accounting obligation and the double-entry bookkeeping obligation
  • Company is subject to stricter rules of the HGB

 

The information published on our site is all written and checked by experts with the greatest care. However, we cannot guarantee that it is correct, as laws and regulations are subject to constant change. Therefore, always consult a technical expert in a specific case - we will be happy to put you in touch.

firma.de assumes no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.