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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mai 14, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 7/20)
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Administrative Invalidity and Revocation Proceedings Possible Now

On April 29, 2020, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) informs that the second part of the Trade Mark Law Modernisation Act entered into force. Invalidity and revocation proceedings are now possible at the DPMA which previously had to be handled exclusively by the courts.

As from May 1, 2020, holders of the earlier rights referred to in sections 9 to 13 of the Trade Mark Act may also have invalidity proceedings conducted directly at the DPMA. The application may also be based on several earlier rights (section 51 (1) of the Trade Mark Act). However, a declaration of invalidity on the basis of conflicting earlier rights is excluded in certain cases – for example, if the holder of the earlier rights has acquiesced in the use of the later trade mark or if he has not put to use his own trade mark (section 51 (2) and (4), sentence 1 no. 1 of the Trade Mark Act). If the proprietor of the challenged trademark objects to the application for a declaration of invalidity within a period of two months, invalidity proceedings will be conducted. If he does not object to the application, his trademark will be declared invalid and cancelled.

As from May 1, 2020, revocation proceedings, too, can be conducted fully at the DPMA. Upon request, registered trademarks will be revoked and cancelled if they have not been put to use within a period of five years, if they have become of such a nature as to deceive the public or if the proprietor no longer fulfils the requirements of section 7 of the Trade Mark Act. There are further grounds for revocation for collective marks and certification marks.

More information can be seen here