A (8) | B (2) | C (16) | D (13) | E (6) | F (5) | G (7) | I (5) | L (7) | M (4) | N (1) | O (2) | P (8) | R (5) | S (4) | T (15) | U (5) | V (1) | W (5)

Absolute grounds for refusal

Within the application and registration procedure the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) only examine the absolute grounds for refusal (not relative grounds). Therefore, a trademark will not be registered if it lacks distinctiveness, consists of descriptive terms that must be kept free for general use; is liable of misleading the public; contains state emblems or is contrary to public policy or the accepted principles of morality.

Abuse of rights

Abuse of rights means the unauthorized or improper use of a legal position. 

Act on Copyright and Related Rights

The German Act on Copyright and Related Rights is the legal basis for the German copyright system.  


With an affidavit (affirmation in lieu of an oath) a person can affirm the correctness of a declaration in front of a court or an office. It can be required or allowed by law. The submission of a wrong affidavit is a criminal felony and can be punished with up to three years imprisonment or a fine. 

Ancillary Copyright Law

Ancillary copyrights are a right “sui generis”. Ancillary rights in news snippets and quotations are not part of the IP System. They also de not fall within the copyright system, since the ancillary rights create only entitlements in content that in general is excluded from copyright protection.  

Anticompetitive Violation

Anticompetitive violation occurs if a company breaches unfair competition law by advertising and promoting in a false manner, e.g. inaccurate, misleading, or contain deceptive statements. Most commonly, an anticompetitive violation results in a warning letter. 

Appeal Procedure

The appeal procedure at the German Federal Patent Court is the second or third instance after the registration, opposition or cancellation proceeding in front of the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO). 

Availability of a Trademark

Trademarks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which have become customary in the current usage are excluded from registration. Such signs or indications need to be free for the public. This requirement is an absolute ground of refusal.