Sun, Jul. 26, 2009

Foreign Trademark Domestically Protected

CK - Washington.   Despite the fact that an unregistered trademark is used in Germany, a conflicting mark may be registered with the Patent and Trademark Office in Munich. Nonetheless, such a common law domestic trademark may enjoy some protection. Recently, the office extended such protection to a foreign trademark.

The federal supreme court for patent and trademark matters ruled in the matter 26 W (pat) 32/08 on May 22, 2009 in favor of a Turkish mark whose owner had entered into business negotiations with a prospective German importer. When negotiations broke down, the importer registered the mark in Germany. Later, the Turkish company sought to have the registration expunged.

The court, Bundespatentgericht, upheld the action of the trademark office, Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt, which struck the offending mark from the register on the basis of considerations which resemble equitable factors in American law.


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