A trademark is a word, phrase or symbol, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or figurative elements, that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one company from those of another. Organisations ranging from SMEs to huge multinationals use trademarks registration systems to protect their brands.
If you need trademark protection you have the choice of registering with national, regional, or international trademark offices. These trademark registration systems all provide legal protection for your trademark which is limited to the territories in which they operate. An organisation that needs to do business in just one or two countries may choose to obtain protection by applying separately to the appropriate official trademark offices. Within Europe, wider geographical coverage (27 Member States) is also available with a single application at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). If your home country is a member of the 'Madrid Protocol' or the 'Madrid Agreement', you may also register your trademark before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which can extend your trademark protection to up to 70 countries. These different alternatives mean that you should be able to choose an option for legally protecting your trademark that fits your business needs.
A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:
™ (the "trademark symbol", which is the letters "TM" in superscript, for an unregistered trademark, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
℠ (which is the letters "SM" in superscript, for an unregistered service mark, a mark used to promote or brand services)
® (the letter "R" surrounded by a circle, for a registered trademark)
Attention: TPR ist private Trademark register.
You can conduct free searches for trademarks in TPR register. The database contains trademark applications and registered and refused national and international trademarks.
When searching in TPR register, please note that you can find trademarks with elements matching those of your intended trademark, but it is not possible to conduct a similarity search. However, an opposition against the registration of your trademark may also be filed on the basis of a similar trademark. Various commercial search providers offer complex similarity searches.