Trademark Law

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Basic data
Title: Law on the protection of trademarks and other symbols
Short title: Trademark Law
Abbreviation: MarkenG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Intellectual Property
References : 423-5-2
Issued on: October 25, 1994
( BGBl. I p. 3082 ;
ber. 1995 I p. 156 )
Entry into force on: January 1, 1995
Last change by: Art. 1 G of December 11, 2018
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2357 )
Effective date of the
last change:
predominantly January 14, 2019
(Art. 5 G of December 11, 2018)
GESTA : C026
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The German law on the protection of trademarks and other trademarks ( Markengesetz - MarkenG ) serves to protect trademarks . It is the successor law of the Trademark Law of 1936 and, together with the Design Law , the Utility Model Law and the Patent Law, protects the by-products and trademarks of companies within the framework of commercial legal protection .

The law came into being with the adaptation of German trademark law to international developments, after the Council of the European Community had issued a first directive on December 21, 1988 to harmonize the trademark laws of the member states. The Trademark Law was enacted as Article 1 of the Trademark Law Reform Act of October 25, 1994 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 3082 ).


Trademark and trademark protection

The Trademark Act protects trademarks, business names and geographical indications of origin ( § 1 ). The Trademark Act does not exclude additional protection under other regulations ( Section 2 ).

Marks, words, personal names, images, letters, numbers, audio symbols, three-dimensional designs, the shape of goods, their packaging and other presentations with colors and color combinations are considered trademarks that can be protected under Section 3 . However, signs that consist of or consist of a form that is determined by the nature of the goods themselves, that are necessary to achieve the technical effect or that give the goods essential value are not sufficient. According to Section 8 , trademarks that are to be protected must also be distinguishable, must not violate morality or public order , bear no national emblems (coats of arms, flags, seals, etc.) from states or municipal associations, contain no deceptions of the public or in general use common language or similar.

The trademark protection itself requires the entry of the mark in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office or the use of the mark in commercial traffic, so that the mark has acquired public recognition within the public , or if the mark is well known within the meaning of Article 6 to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is.

The trademark protection can be asserted by natural and legal persons as well as by partnerships with legal capacity ( § 7 ).

The trademark owner is entitled to claims for damages and injunctive relief .

Further regulations

Part 3 regulates the procedure in trademark matters (§§ 32-96), Part 4 the collective trademarks (§§ 97-106), Part 5 the protection of trademarks according to the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Trademarks and the associated protocol, so-called IR trademarks that are registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, as well as community trademarks (§§ 107–125i) that can be registered with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in Alicante. Part 6 determines the regulations for geographical indications of origin (§§ 126-139). The procedure in trademark disputes (Sections 140–142) ​​is regulated in Part 7. Part 8 regulates criminal, fines and confiscation regulations ( secondary criminal law is regulated in Sections 143–144) in Sections 143–151. Transitional provisions can be found in Part 9 (Sections 152–165).


  • Paul Ströbele; Franz Hacker; Irmgard Kirschneck: Trademark Law. Comment. Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-452-27898-2
  • Andreas Heinemann (Ed.): Commercial legal protection, competition law, copyright. Loose-leaf collection, CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-45350-2
  • Helmut Köhler (Ed.): Competition law and antitrust law. CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-57635-5
  • Florian Mächtel, Ralf Uhrich, Achim Förster (eds.): Intellectual property. Collection of regulations on commercial legal protection, copyright and competition law . 3. Edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-16-150986-5 ( table of contents )
  • Wolfgang W. Göpfert: The criminal liability of trademark infringement. (Writings of the Center for Applied Law, Vol. 4), Universitätsverlag Karlsruhe 2006, ISBN 3-937300-97-X ( full text display )
  • Reinhard Ingerl; Christian Rohnke: Trademark Law. Commentary 3rd edition, CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-59047-4

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