Patents, trade marks, copyright and designs in Germany: overview

A guide to intellectual property law in Germany. The Main IPRs Q&A gives an overview of the protection and enforcement of the following IPRs: patents, trade marks, registered designs, unregistered designs, copyright and confidential information.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Patents, trade marks, copyright and designs: Country Q&A tool.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to IP law. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/ip-guide.

Contents

Patents

1. What are the legal requirements to obtain a patent?

Patents

To be patentable, a technical invention must:

  • Be novel.

  • Involve an inventive activity.

  • Be susceptible of industrial application.

  • Belong to a technical field (technicity).

  • Not be within the scope of a statutory exclusion from patentability (see Question 2).

Utility models

Technical inventions can also be protected in Germany by a utility model. The requirements are almost similar as for patents (see above, Patents). The term of protection is shorter than for patents (see Question 5, Utility models) and the prior art is narrower. A difference is that utility models must involve an inventive step rather than an inventive activity, although there is hardly any difference in practice. In addition, only formal requirements are examined before registration (that is, utility models are registered without examination of novelty and inventiveness).

 
2. What categories are excluded from patent protection?

Patents

The following categories are excluded from protection (German Patent Act):

  • Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods.

  • Aesthetic creations.

  • Schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business.

  • Computer programs.

  • Presentations of information.

  • The human body in its phases of creation and development, and mere discoveries of one of its elements (isolated body parts or parts generated through technical methods can be patented under strict conditions).

  • Inventions the commercial exploitation of which would be contrary to public policy or morality.

  • Methods for cloning human beings.

  • Methods for changing the genetic identity of the germ line of the human being.

  • Use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.

  • Methods for changing the genetic identity of animals that are capable of causing animals suffering without substantial medical benefit to man or animal, and also animals resulting from such methods.

  • Plant or animal varieties, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals.

  • Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body. This does not apply to products (in particular substances or compositions) used in relation to any of these methods.

Utility models

Excluded categories are the same as for patents (see above, Patents). In addition, utility models cannot be registered for methods and for biotechnological inventions (section 1 para. 2, German Patent Act (GPA)).

 
3. Which authority registers patents? Does its website provide guidance on the application procedure?

The two authorities that register patents are the:

Utility models

The DPMA registers utility models. Guidance on the application procedure is available online (www.dpma.de/english/utility_models/application/index.html).

 
4. On what grounds and when can third parties oppose a patent application?

Patents

Any third party can oppose a patent within nine months after publication of the grant of the patent (both for German and European patents) on the following grounds:

  • The subject matter of the patent is not patentable (see Questions 1 and 2).

  • Insufficient (that is unclear or incomplete) disclosure of the invention.

  • Added matter (that is, inadmissible extension of the subject matter beyond the content of the filed application).

In addition, a third party can oppose a German patent on the grounds that the main content of the invention was taken from his drawings, descriptions, devices or procedures without his consent (misappropriation (widerrechtliche Entnahme)).

Utility models

Third parties can file a request with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) to cancel a utility model based on the same grounds as for patents (see above, Patents). In addition, cancellation can be requested if the subject of the invention is already protected by a prior patent or utility model application (Article 15 para. 1 no. 2, German Utility Model Act).

 
5. When does patent protection start and how long does it last?

Patents

For German and European patents, limited protection starts from the publication of the patent application. This means that claims for injunctive relief and damages cannot be made as long as the application is pending and not granted; only claims for compensation are available. Full protection starts from the grant of the patent and lasts for 20 years from the application filing date.

The protection of national patents must be renewed after the third year, and then every year.

The term of protection for pharmaceuticals and plant protection products can be extended for up to five years (Supplementary Protection Certificate).

Utility models

Protection lasts for ten years from the end of the month in which the application was filed. Protection must be renewed (and renewal fees paid) after the third, sixth and eighth anniversary of the filing date.

 
6. On what grounds can a patent infringement action be brought?

Patents

A patent infringement action can be brought for:

  • Direct infringement (Article 9, German Patent Act (GPA)), which includes:

    • making, offering, putting on the market or using a patented product, or importing or possessing the product for such purposes;

    • using a patented method or offering the method for use; and

    • offering, putting on the market, using or importing, or possessing for such purposes, a product obtained directly from a patented manufacturing method.

  • Indirect or contributory infringement (Article 10, GPA). This includes supplying or offering to supply within Germany means relating to an essential element of the invention for exploiting the invention in Germany, where the supplier knows or it is obvious that such means are suitable and intended to be used for exploiting the invention.

  • Equivalent infringement (Article 9, GPA). This occurs where a third party does not use a feature of the claimed invention but an equivalent feature that has the same effect as the claimed feature. Strict requirements must be met for making a finding of equivalent infringement. In particular, the equivalent feature must have the same technical effect, be easy to achieve and the person skilled in the art must understand the patent in a way that the equivalent feature leads to an equivalent solution. For example, this may not be the case if the patent describes that two parts can be connected either by screws or by nails, but only claims a connection by screws. In such a case, using nails may not amount to an equivalent infringement.

Utility models

The grounds for infringement of utility models are the same as for patent infringement (see above, Patents).

 
7. Which courts deal with patent infringement actions?

Patents

The following courts deal with patent infringement actions:

  • First instance: each German Federal State (Bundesland) appoints one of its District Courts (Landgericht) to deal with patent infringement actions (concentration of courts). Certain states share the same Patent Court.

  • Appeal: Courts of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) of which the respective District Courts depend.

  • Further appeal: Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).

Utility models

The position is the same as for patents (see above, Patents).

 
8. What are the defences to patent infringement actions?

Patents

Defences to patent infringement include:

  • Non-infringement.

  • Statutory exemptions, including (Article 11, German Patent Act (GPA)):

    • private use;

    • experimental use; or

    • use for making an application for market authorisation.

  • Private prior use.

  • Compulsory licence.

  • Competition law defence.

Invalidity of the patent is not a defence as such. However, the court can stay infringement proceedings pending the outcome of invalidity proceedings.

Utility models

The defences are the same as for patents (see above, Patents). However, one additional defence is the defence of invalidity of the utility model. The court will make an inter partes decision on the validity of the model for the proceeding.

 
9. What are the remedies in patent infringement actions?

Patents

The remedies in patent infringement actions are (Article 139 to 140e, German Patent Act (GPA)):

  • Injunctions, including:

    • preliminary injunctions, such as restraining orders, rendering of information and seizure of goods by the court bailiff (other types of injunctions are available under strict requirements); and

    • permanent injunctions.

  • Damages.

  • Rendering of information and accounts.

  • Delivery-up and destruction of infringing goods.

  • Destruction of tools used for the production of infringing goods.

  • Recall of infringing products and removal from the market.

  • Presentation and inspection of goods.

  • Publication of the infringement judgment.

  • Reimbursement of the statutory legal costs and fees for bringing the action (Article 91, German Civil Procedure Code).

Utility models

The remedies are the same as for patents (see above, Patents).

 
10. Is there a fast-track and/or a small-claims procedure for patent infringement actions?

Patents

There is no fast-track or small-claims procedure for main patent infringement proceedings. The duration of proceedings differs depending on the complexity of the proceedings, technical matter, service requirements (for example, to non-European defendants) and the relevant court practice and workload.

However, a patent holder can apply for preliminary injunctions (see Question 9).

Utility models

The position is the same as for patents (see above, Patents).

 

Trade marks

11. What are the legal requirements to obtain a trade mark?

Registered trade marks

A sign can be registered as a trade mark if it:

  • Is capable of being represented graphically. This includes words (including personal names), designs, letters, numerals, shapes of goods or packaging and colours (or combinations of colours).

  • Is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

  • Does not fall within one of the absolute grounds for refusal (statutory exclusions) (Article 8, German Trade mark Act) (see Question 14). However, some of these grounds may be overcome through showing acquired distinctiveness (Verkehrsdurchsetzung).

Unregistered trade marks

A sign can be protected as an unregistered trade mark if it has achieved either:

  • Market recognition (secondary meaning) as a trade mark within the relevant public (Verkehrsgeltung).

  • Notoriety as a trade mark within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

 
12. Is it necessary or advisable to register trade marks?

Registration is generally required for protection, unless the sign acquired secondary meaning or notoriety (see Question 11, Unregistered trade marks). However, registration is always recommended for the following reasons:

  • Registration provides a formal position.

  • The owner can assert a registered trade mark and bring infringement proceedings without any further proof of trade mark protection.

  • A defendant must contest the validity of the trade mark.

Unregistered trade marks generally provide the same rights as registered trade marks. However, to enforce its rights, a claimant must prove that the sign has gained protection, and for which goods and services.

 
13. Which authority registers trade marks? Does its website provide guidance on the application procedure?

The two authorities that register trade marks are the:

 
14. On what grounds can the regulatory authority refuse to register a trade mark?

Registration of a national or EU trade mark can be refused on the following grounds:

  • Failure to meet the legal requirements for registration (see Question 11, Registered trade marks).

  • Absolute grounds for refusal (statutory exclusions), in particular if the sign:

    • lacks any distinctiveness in relation to the goods and services;

    • is purely descriptive;

    • has become customary for describing the goods or services;

    • is capable of misleading the public;

    • is contrary to public policy or morality;

    • has been applied for in bad faith; or

    • is identical or confusingly similar to an earlier trade mark which the authority knows to be well-known within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

 
15. On what grounds and when can third parties oppose a trade mark application?

The owner of an earlier trade mark can oppose a trade mark within three months after publication of the registration if the later mark:

  • Is identical to the earlier mark and is registered in relation to identical goods or services.

  • Is identical or similar to the earlier mark, is registered for identical or similar goods or services, and there is risk of confusion.

  • Is identical or similar to the well-known earlier mark, is registered in relation to different goods or services, and its use would be without due cause and would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trade mark.

  • Has been registered for the owner's agent or representative rather than for the owner, and without the owner's consent.

  • Is identical or confusingly similar to the earlier mark that is well-known within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

In addition, an opposition can be based on older trade names or unregistered rights if these entitle the owner to prohibit the use of the later trade mark (see Question 11, Unregistered trade marks).

After the opposition period, the trade mark can be revoked on the basis of the above grounds through court proceedings.

Further, a trade mark registration can be cancelled on the request of any third party on the following grounds:

Cancellation requests based on non-use can be filed with either the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) or a court. Requests based on the absolute grounds for refusal and/or statutory exclusions must be filed with the DPMA.

 
16. When does trade mark protection start and how long does it last?

Registered trade marks

Protection starts with registration. Protection lasts for ten years from the end of the month in which the application was filed and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten years.

Unregistered trade marks

Protection starts when the sign acquired either:

  • Market recognition (secondary meaning) as a trade mark among the relevant public (Verkehrsgeltung).

  • Notoriety within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

Protection lasts as long as market recognition or notoriety exists.

 
17. On what grounds can a trade mark infringement action be brought?

A trade mark infringement action can be brought against the unauthorised commercial use of a sign that is:

  • Identical to the claimant's trade mark in relation to identical goods or services.

  • Identical or similar to the claimant's trade mark, in relation to identical or similar goods or services, and there is risk of confusion.

  • Identical or similar to the claimant's well-known trade mark, in relation to different goods or services, and the use of the sign would be without due cause and would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the claimant's trade mark.

 
18. Which courts deal with trade mark infringement actions?

The following courts deal with trade mark infringement actions:

  • First instance: District Courts (Landgericht) from which each German Federal state (Bundesland) can appoint certain courts as exclusively competent. Actions for infringement of German trade marks and EU trade marks can be heard by different courts, depending on the decisions of each state.

  • Appeal: Courts of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) of which the relevant District Courts depend.

  • Further appeal: Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).

 
19. What are the defences to trade mark infringement actions?

Defences to trade mark infringement actions include:

  • Non-infringement.

  • Cancellation for non-use.

  • Forfeiture of rights (that is, where the claimant has known and tolerated the use of the sign for at least five consecutive years).

  • Counter-claim for cancellation of the trade mark.

  • Request for cancellation.

  • Statutory legitimation (Article 23 and 24, German Trade Mark Act), that is:

    • use of an identical or similar sign to describe the features and characteristics of goods or services;

    • use of an identical or similar sign that is necessary for indicating the intended use of goods and services (in particular as accessories or spare parts); or

    • exhaustion of rights.

  • Competition law defence.

  • Statute of limitation.

 
20. What are the remedies in trade mark infringement actions?

The remedies are the same as for patent infringement actions (see Question 9, Patents) (Article 14 to 19c, German Trade Mark Act).

 
21. Is there a fast-track and/or a small-claims procedure for trade mark infringement actions?

There is no fast-track and/or small-claims procedure for trade mark infringement actions. However, it is possible to apply for preliminary injunctions (see Question 9, Patents).

 

Copyright

22. What are the legal requirements to obtain copyright protection?

Copyright

To obtain copyright protection, a works must be both a:

  • Work of literature, science or art (Article 1, German Copyright Act (GCA)).

  • Personal intellectual creation (Article 2, GCA).

Neighbouring rights

The following are protected by neighbouring rights (Article 70 to 87h, GCA):

  • Photographs and videos that do not constitute "works" (see above, Copyright).

  • Performing artists.

  • Phonogram producers.

  • Broadcasting companies.

  • Producers of databases.

  • Media publishers (press).

The legal requirements for neighbouring rights protection are less strict. However, neighbouring rights are more limited and their term of protection is shorter (see Question 24).

 
23. Can copyright be registered?

Copyright and neighbouring rights cannot be registered.

 
24. When does copyright protection start and how long does it last?

Copyright

Protection starts on the creation of the work and lasts 70 years from the end of the year of the author's death.

Neighbouring rights

The start of protection varies depending on the relevant rights (for example, recording of the performance, first broadcast or publication, and so on). The terms of protection range from one up to 70 years, depending on the rights.

 
25. On what grounds can a copyright infringement action be brought?

Copyright

A copyright infringement action can be brought for violation of the following owner's exclusive rights (Articles 12 to 23, German Copyright Act (GCA)):

  • Right to publish the work.

  • Right to be named as the author.

  • Moral rights (against distortion and other mutilation of the work).

  • Right of duplication.

  • Right of distribution.

  • Right of exhibition.

  • Right of presentation of the work.

  • Right of making the work available to the public.

  • Broadcasting right.

  • Rights of editing and rearrangement.

Neighbouring rights

The grounds for infringement of neighbouring rights are as follows (Articles 70 to 87h, GCA):

  • Scientific publications: see above, Copyright.

  • Photographs: see above, Copyright.

  • Performers: violations of the right of recognition, moral rights, right to video and audio recording (and to copy and distribute such recording), right to broadcast.

  • Phonogram producers: copying, distributing or making available to the public.

  • Broadcasting companies: distributing or making available to the public.

  • Database producers: copying, distributing or making available to the public.

  • Newspaper and magazine publishers: making available to the public.

 
26. Which courts deal with copyright infringement actions?

Copyright

The following courts deal with copyright infringement actions:

  • First instance (Article 105, German Copyright Act (GCA)).

    • Specialised chambers of Local Courts (Amtsgerichte) are competent when the amount in dispute does not exceed EUR5,000; and

    • District Courts (Landgerichte) are competent when the amount in dispute exceeds EUR5,000.

The German federal states (Bundesländer) can appoint certain Local or District Courts as competent courts (concentration of courts) (Article 105, German Copyright Act).

  • Appeal:

    • District Courts hear appeals against judgments of Local Courts; and

    • Courts of Appeal (Oberlandesgerichte) hear appeals against judgments of District Courts.

  • Further appeal: Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).

Neighbouring rights

See above, Copyright.

 
27. What are the defences to copyright infringement actions?

Copyright

Defences to copyright infringement actions include:

  • Non-infringement.

  • Failure to meet the legal requirements for protection (see Question 22, Copyright).

  • Expiry of the term of protection (see Question 24, Copyright).

  • Statutory exceptions to copyright infringement (Articles 44a et seq., German Copyright Act (GCA)), including:

    • temporary reproduction;

    • teaching and educational use;

    • quotation; and

    • reproduction for private and other personal uses.

Neighbouring rights

See above, Copyright.

 
28. What are the remedies in copyright infringement actions?

Copyright

The remedies are the same as for patent infringement actions (see Question 9, Patents) (Article 97 to 103, German Copyright Act (GPA)).

Neighbouring rights

See above, Copyright.

 
29. Is there a fast-track and/or a small-claims procedure for copyright infringement actions?

Copyright

There is no fast-track or small-claims procedure for copyright infringement actions. However, copyright owners can apply for preliminary injunctions (see Question 9, Patents).

Neighbouring rights

See above, Copyright.

 

Registered designs

30. What are the legal conditions to obtain a registered design right?

Under Article 2 of the German Design Act (GDA), the legal conditions to obtain a registered design right are:

  • Novelty.

  • Originality.

These requirements are not examined by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA).

A design cannot be registered if:

  • It consists of features that (Article 3 No. 1 and 2, GDA):

    • are solely dictated by their technical function; or

    • must be built in a certain way to ensure compatibility with other products.

  • It is contrary to public policy or morality (Articles 18 and 3 No. 3, GDA).

  • Makes unlawful use of the signs mentioned in Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention) (Articles 18 and 3 No. 4, GDA).

 
31. Which authority registers designs?

The two authorities that register designs are the:

 
32. On what grounds and when can third parties oppose a registered design application?

No opposition to an application is available. However, third parties can challenge the validity of a registered design through either:

  • An action for invalidity before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA).

  • A counter-claim in infringement proceedings (Article 33(3), German Design Act (GDA)).

The validity of a design can be challenged on the grounds that the design (Article 30(1) and (2), GDA):

  • Is not a design within the meaning of Article 1 No 1 of the GDA. A design is defined as the two or three dimensional appearance of the whole or part of an article, resulting in particular from the features of the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.

  • Lacks novelty or originality.

  • Is excluded from protection under Article 3 of the GDA (see Question 30).

  • Infringes an earlier design or a work protected by copyright.

 
33. When does registered design protection start and how long does it last?

Protection starts from registration of the design and can be renewed every five years, up to a maximum of 25 years from the application date (Article 27, German Design Act (GDA)).

 
34. On what grounds can a registered design infringement action be brought?

A design infringement action can be brought where either (Article 38, German Design Act (GDA)):

  • A third party manufactures, offers, puts on the market, imports, exports or uses a product which contains or uses the registered design, or possesses such product for the above reasons.

  • A design produces the same overall impression as the earlier design in the view of an informed user.

 
35. Which courts deal with registered design infringement actions?

The following courts deal with registered design infringement actions:

  • First instance: District Courts (Landgerichte) from which each German federal state (Bundesland) can appoint certain courts as exclusively competent.

  • Appeal: Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) of which the respective District Courts depend.

  • Further appeal: Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).

 
36. What are the defences to registered design infringement actions?

Defences to registered design infringement actions include:

  • Non-infringement.

  • Counter-claim for invalidity of the registered design.

  • Private use for non-commercial purposes (Article 40, German Design Act (GDA)).

  • Use for citation or educational purposes (Article 40, GDA).

  • Prior use (Article 41, GDA).

  • Exhaustion of rights (Article 48, GDA).

 
37. What are the remedies in registered design infringement actions?

The remedies are the same as for patent infringement actions (see Question 9, Patents) (Article 42 to 47, German Design Act (GPA)).

 
38. Is there a fast-track and/or a small-claims procedure for registered design infringement actions?

There is no fast-track or small-claims procedure for registered design infringement actions. However, owners can apply for preliminary injunctions (see Question 9, Patents).

 

Unregistered designs

39. What are the legal conditions for unregistered design rights to arise?

Unregistered designs are not available under national regulations, but only under Regulation (EC) 6/2002 on Community designs (Community Design Regulation (CDR)), which provides protection for both designs registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and for unregistered designs throughout Europe.

Unregistered design rights arise if a design:

  • Is novel (Articles 4 and 5, CDR).

  • Is original (Articles 4 and 6, CDR).

  • Has been made available to the public (Article 5(1)(a), CDR), (that is, persons operating in the sector concerned).

No rights can arise if a design:

  • Consists of features that:

    • depend solely on their technical function (Article 8(1), CDR); or

    • depend on their compatibility with other products (Article 8(2), CDR).

  • Is contrary to public policy (Article 9, CDR).

 
40. When does unregistered design protection start and how long does it last?

Protection starts when the unregistered design has been made available to the public in the EU (Article 5(1), Community Design Regulation (CDR)) and lasts for three years (Article 11, CDR).

 
41. On what grounds can an unregistered design infringement action be brought?

The position is the same as for registered designs (see Question 34), but only if the contested use results from copying the protected design (Article 19(2), Community Design Regulation (CDR)).

 
42. What are the defences to unregistered design infringement actions?

Defences to unregistered design infringement actions include:

  • Non-infringement.

  • Invalidity of the unregistered design.

  • Private use for non-commercial purposes (Article 20, Community Design Regulation (CDR)).

  • Use for citation or teaching purposes (Article 20, CDR).

  • Prior use (Article 22, CDR).

  • Exhaustion of rights (Article 21, CDR).

  • The contested design was created independently from the unregistered design.

 
43. What are the remedies in unregistered design infringement actions?

The same applies as for patents (see Question 9, Patents) (Article 89, Community Design Regulation (CDR)).

 

Confidential information

44. What are the legal conditions for rights in confidential information to arise?

Rights in confidential information arise if the information relates to an undertaking and is either:

  • Not obvious, but only known to a limited number of people and kept confidential according to the expressed will of the owner.

  • Subject to a contractual obligation of confidence.

 
45. On what grounds can an action for unauthorised use of confidential information be brought?

An action for unauthorised use of confidential information can be brought for:

  • Betrayal of trade secrets (Article 17(1), Unfair Competition Act (UCA)).

  • Industrial espionage, and using and passing information gathered through industrial espionage (Article 17(2), UCA).

  • Unlawful use or passing of technical templates, models and patterns irrespective of them being secret or not (Article 18, UCA).

  • Violation of contractual obligations of confidence.

 
46. Which courts deal with actions for unauthorised use of confidential information?

The following courts deal with actions for unauthorised use of confidential information:

  • First instance: District Courts (Landgerichte) from which each German federal state (Bundesland) can appoint certain courts as exclusively competent (Article 13(1), Unfair Competition Act (UCA)).

  • Appeal: Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht).

  • Further appeal: Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).

 
47. What are the defences to actions for unauthorised use of confidential information?

Defences to actions for unauthorised use of confidential information include:

  • Non-infringement of statutory provisions.

  • State of emergency.

  • Compliance with a duty to supply information.

  • Public availability of information.

 
48. What are the remedies in actions for unauthorised use of confidential information?

Remedies in actions for unauthorised use of confidential information include:

  • Preliminary and/or permanent injunctions.

  • Damages.

  • Account of profits.

 
49. Is there a fast-track and/or a small-claims procedure for actions for unauthorised use of confidential information?

There is no fast-track or small-claims procedure for actions for unauthorised use of confidential information. However, owners can apply for preliminary injunctions (see Question 9, Patents).

 

Contributor profiles

Prof Dr Peter Ruess, Partner

ARNOLD RUESS

T +49 211 5424 4030
F +49 211 5424 4044
E ruess@arnold-ruess.com
W www.arnold-ruess.com

Professional qualifications. Germany, Attorney-at-Law; Bar-Certified Specialist Attorney for Intellectual Property Law

Areas of practice. Intellectual property law, in particular trade mark and unfair competition law.

Non-professional qualifications. LL.M.

Recent transactions

  • Advising a Fortune 500 food manufacturer on product launches, advertising campaigns and strategic IP issues.
  • Enforcing trade mark rights for a DAX 30 corporation.
  • Drafting licensing agreements for several leading trade mark owners (for example, a luxury fashion label and an internationally known automobile brand).
  • In-depth experience in co-ordinating IP issues in M&A transactions, recently in two deals in the telecommunications sector and one deal in the publishing sector.
  • Successful litigation regarding fundamental advertising issues for tobacco business client (reaching the Federal Supreme Court).
  • Participation in a German key case on internet provider liability.
  • Continued strategic IP advice for a global leading consumer goods group, a market leader for game consoles (among others).

Dr Anja Doepner-Thiele, Counsel

ARNOLD RUESS

T +49 211 5424 4060
F +49 211 5424 4044
E doepner@arnold-ruess.com
W www.arnold-ruess.com

Professional qualifications. Germany, Attorney-at-Law; Bar-Certified Specialist Attorney for Intellectual Property Law

Areas of practice. Intellectual property law, in particular trade mark, design and pharmaceutical advertising law.

Non- professional qualifications. LL.M.

Recent transactions

  • Continued advice and representation in trade mark and design patent matters of one of the world's leading companies in the field of consumer electronics, especially against illegal imitations.
  • Successful litigation regarding one of the core product names of a well-known German cosmetics manufacturer.
  • Representing of one of the world's largest financial institutions in key colour trade mark infringement suit.
  • Advising on the development of advertising and marketing strategies, and advice on the trade mark portfolio of one of Germany's largest confectionery manufacturers.
  • Advising on IP issues in M&A transactions in the telecommunications sector.

Hannes Obex, Associate

ARNOLD RUESS

T +49 211 5424 4061
F +49 211 5424 4044
E obex@arnold-ruess.com
W www.arnold-ruess.com

Professional qualifications. Germany, Attorney-at-Law

Areas of practice. Intellectual property law, in particular patent and trade mark law.

Non-professional qualifications. LL.M.

Recent transactions

  • Continuous advice and representation in trade mark and design patent matters of one of the world's leading companies in the field of consumer electronics, especially against counterfeit products.
  • Representing German and international clients in patent infringement proceedings.
  • Advising in internationally co-ordinated patent infringement proceedings.
  • Advising a large manufacturer of watches on design protection and design patent law matters.

Dr Marina Wehler, Associate

ARNOLD RUESS

T +49 211 5424 4060
F +49 211 5424 4044
E wehler@arnold-ruess.com
W www.arnold-ruess.com

Professional qualifications. Germany, Attorney-at-Law

Areas of practice. Intellectual property law, in particular patent and trade mark law.

Recent transactions

  • Representing national and international companies in patent infringement proceedings, for example, in the areas of mobile radio technology, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, sewage management, flooring and automobile.
  • Advising on the interface of patent law and competition law, in particular FRAND and standard essential patents.
  • Advising and representing a large international furniture company in unfair competition matters.
  • Advising and representing national and international companies on trade mark and design patent matters.

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