Can an unregistered company have its trademark

Protect company names

Entrepreneurs know that. You have a new, innovative and groundbreaking idea and give the idea a name. At the same time, a great, catchy and modern company name has to be found. Getting there is not as easy as you might imagine. Good company names are usually the result of long brainstorming sessions, discussions and sleepless nights. Before you present the company name to the public, you have invested a lot of time, nerves and possibly money. So that the company name is not stolen from others or even from competitors, the company name should be protected.

Is the company name already protected by the entry in the commercial register?

No. First, not all company names are the same. This means that not every company name is automatically entered in the commercial register. Startups and smaller companies in particular often think about a company name for their company at the beginning without having to or have to enter the company name in the commercial register. But even if the company name is entered in the trade register, this does not automatically create protection against imitators. Only under special circumstances can the company name be protected as a so-called company label within the meaning of Section 5 (2) of the Trademark Act by using it as a company label. However, this is not always easy to prove, so another, more effective and economically sustainable way should be found to protect the company name.

Effective protection of the company name through a trademark application and registration

The best and most reliable way to have a company name protected is to register as a registered trademark. If you only want to use the company name in Germany, a German trademark application is sufficient. If you want to use the company name in other European countries outside of Germany, the European community brand is usually the brand of choice. Even if you only want to do business under the company name in two or three countries of the European Union, the community trademark is usually worthwhile. This is because it is inexpensive and only a single trademark application covers 28 countries. The management of the brand is therefore easier and the brand can in future be easily expanded to include the countries currently under consideration.

Exclusive right to the company name through the registered trademark

By registering the company name as a trademark, you acquire an exclusive right to use your company name in the area protected by it. If a third party uses your trademark in an identical or similar manner, he can be claimed for omission and, if necessary, for surrender of the infringer's profit. Especially in times of the Internet, one should have the company name protected. Because anyone who has ever offered goods or services on the Internet knows that if the innovative idea for a product or service is successful, it is quickly copied. It is not uncommon for imitators to be found on platforms such as eBay, Amazon or Dawanda. Here it is usually sufficient to send the operators of these platforms the trademark certificate for the protected company name in order to have the offers of trademark infringers and imitators deleted. In this respect, the trademark protection for a company name through the official registration and entry in the trademark register also has a practical advantage in the later conflict with an imitator.

What do I have to consider if I want to have a company name protected by being registered as a trademark?

If you want to have a company name protected and you have decided to register the company name as a trademark, you should first check whether your company name will also work as a brand name from a legal point of view. Descriptive information such as coach or consultant for advisory services or sneakers for trainers as well as sushi for fish dishes cannot be protected as trademarks due to the lack of distinctive character. Even purely advertising statements such as “super great” or “only the best” cannot be protected as a trademark. If you have found a distinctive, original company name and want to have this company name protected, the next step should be to research whether your desired company name has already been used as a trademark or is still available. Incidentally, you should do the same before you want to use the company name only in business transactions and not want to protect it as a trademark. As part of such a trademark search, all trademark registers in their area of ​​activity should be checked and evaluated for identical or similar prior entries. The commercial register should also be checked for existing identical or similar pre-entries. Last but not least, you should take a look around domains that are already registered and used to see whether the name already exists in one way or another. The better and more extensive such a trademark search was carried out before the company name was registered as a trademark, the lower the probability that third parties will later turn against your trademark registration.

If your desired company name is still available as a trademark, the company name should also be protected as a trademark as soon as possible. Because the principle of priority applies in trademark law: If the competition is represented just one day earlier with an identical or similar trademark application, they'll lose out. Your company name as a registered trademark will be an important part of your success in the future and thus an important and great value of your company. You should therefore invest in effective brand protection at an early stage and have the company name protected. You can calculate the costs for the necessary trademark research and trademark registration over a 10-year perspective. This is how long the trademark registration is initially valid and can then theoretically be extended as often as required at the office against payment of an extension fee.

How can I have my company name protected if I want to research and register a trademark?

Access to a registered trademark has now become relatively easy. However, you should always leave the examination of the registration and the protection of the company name as a trademark as well as trademark research to a specialist who, in case of doubt, is also responsible for his results. As a law firm specializing in commercial legal protection, we deal with the protection of company names as trademarks every day. In the past two years alone, we have successfully registered and registered over 1000 trademarks and designs. Therefore we are the top 2 law firm in Germany with the most trademark registrations. In addition, we represent trademark owners in possible conflicts such as objection proceedings or warnings or in the enforcement of their rights as trademark owners against imitators. To protect the company name as a trademark, we have designed packages for trademark research and trademark registration at fixed prices. Thanks to our specialization, we can help you quickly and competently at transparent prices if you want to protect your company name.