GERMANY: Almost 70,000 new national trademarks

                                                                                      1. National Trademark Filings in Germany  The German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) in its Annual Report published the recent filing numbers of national trademarks applied for in Germany. Here is an overview of the number of trademark applications filed in 2007 - 2010: - 2010: 69,072 - 2009: 69,069 - 2008: 73,903 - 2007: 76,165 2. Top Trademark Filers With 147 trademarks, MIP METRO Group Intellectual Property GmbH & Co. KG headed the ranking of trademark applicants and owners listed by numbers of registrations in 2010. It was followed by Bayer AG (109 registrations) and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (108 registrations). For more detailed information please see the GPTO's Annual Report 3. Germany: Quick Registration Process Important to know is that a German trademark is registered quickly. The GPTO has expedited and improved its examination process within the past two years. Registration on an average takes 6 - 8 weeks. However, by paying an extra 200 EURO official fees, the trademark applicant can request an "Expedited Request for Examination" at the GPTO. Thereby, the responsible GPTO Trademark Examiner reviews the application on an expedited basis. The German trademark application may be registered a lot quicker - usually within 2-3 weeks then. It is extremely important to have a registered trademark in place, because infringement action(s) can in general only be based on registered trademark (or e.g. design) rights. 4. Specialized Intellectual Property (IP) Courts in Germany Germany has specialized Intellectual Property Courts. This means that the judge(s) handling for example the trademark infringement cases are specialized in the fields of trademark, design, copyright, competition law etc. The responsible and called upon chambers (usually staffed with 3 judges at the Regional Courts) are experts in the field of IP and have a vast experience. 5. Preliminary Injuntions - a sharp weapon One of the sharpest weapons against trademark infringers and/or counterfeiters in Germany is the Preliminary Injuntion (PI). The trademark owner via a German attorney files a request for a PI with the responsible German court called upon. The court usually decides very quickly. In case the infringement is clear, usually no oral hearing takes place and the potential infringer in the majority of PI cases is not heard. The German court renders a decision which is granted usually with 2 - 3 days after the request has been filed. ANOTHER GERMAN SPECIALTY: Courts at German Trade Fairs Not known by many is the fact that at certain international and well-known trade fairs taking place in Germany (such as the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg - the largest toy fair in the world - and the annual CeBIT - one of the largest trade fairs with respect to computer technology in Hannover) set up an IP court right on the premises of the trade fair. The judges reside in an interim court office just for the duration of the trade fair. In case the infringement is given, the court may even render a decision in clear-cut cases within hours - and thereby help IP owners protect their rights - quickly, effectively - and in a cost-effective manner.