- Signs which belong to the public domain must remain available to everyone and cannot be registered. This includes, for instance, single letters or numbers or abbreviations which have a meaning and a descriptive character (e.g., 4x4, GTI). A sign may also not be purely descriptive of a characteristic, quality, type or place of production (generic names). For instance, «apple» cannot be registered for a type of apple or fruit but it can be registered for a computer without a problem.
- A trade mark may also not be misleading or deceptive regarding properties such as source or quality. For example, the trade mark «GoldArt» cannot be registered for goods which are not made of gold or gilded with gold.
- A trade mark also may not go against public morality or the law.
- You can see examples of problematical signs which would be refused during examination as well as our examination guidelines at our webpage Examination practice (in German).
- Information on the use and protection of indications of source
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