Reform of German Trademark Law in force since 14 January 2019

On the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, national and Union trademarks may currently coexist. The German Trademark Law Modernisation Act (MaMoG), which came into force on 14 January 2019, transposed a new version of the EU Trademark Law Directive 2015/2436 into German law to further harmonise trademark law. One of the most important changes is that a trademark must now be clearly and unambiguously identifiable. Thus, the requirement of graphic representability no longer applies. In addition, a new brand category, the warranty brand, was created in which, in contrast to the well-known individual brand, the focus is not on origin but on quality. The cancellation procedure was replaced by revocation proceedings and nullity proceedings. Geographical indications and designations of origin, in particular for food, wine and spirits, are now new absolute grounds for refusal. In addition, licences can now also be entered in the trade mark register upon request. Caution must also be exercised when determining the term of protection of newly filed trademarks, as this now ends exactly after ten years and no longer after ten years at the end of the respective month. The reclassification was abolished. Finally, there are numerous changes in the opposition procedure, such as the system in the opposition procedure, the opposition fee, the elimination of the second objection of non-use with "wandering period of use", the replacement of the prima facie evidence by proof of use and the determination of the grace period.

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