Companies are seeking extensive protection for their IP assets. But it is not always clear how to protect a product’s appearance and shape. Philipe Kutschke explains.
According to German and European trademark law, it is possible to obtain trademark protection for the shape of a product or packaging by way of a 3D trademark.
Whereas Community trademark law allows trademark protection only by way of registration, in Germany protection by use in commerce is possible in addition to protection through registration, provided that the trademark has obtained a certain degree of market awareness.
The legal criteria for the protection of a 3D trademark are the same as for other types of trademarks (word marks, figurative marks). However, and as a rule, consumers tend to perceive the shape of a product as a merely decorative element and not as a trademark.
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3D trademarks, Lindt, community trademark