What is a branded company



1. Term: A brand can be understood as the sum of all ideas that a Brand name (Brand name) or a Trademark (Brand Mark) causes or should cause the customer to differentiate the goods or services of one company from those of other companies.

2. Features: The ideas are created by names, terms, signs, logos, symbols or combinations of these for identification and orientation aid when selecting products or services. Meffert defines the brand as "... a bundle of benefits with specific features that ensure that
This bundle of benefits is compared to other bundles of benefits that have the same basic needs
fulfill, sustainably differentiated from the perspective of relevant target groups. "The definition in the trademark law is based on the characters that create an image:" A trademark can be all characters, in particular words including personal names, images, letters, numbers, audio symbols, three-dimensional designs including shape of goods or their packaging as well as other presentations, including color and color combinations, which are suitable to distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of other companies "(Section 3, Paragraph 1 of the Trademark Act). In addition, relationships and geographical indications of origin can also be protected (see §§ 1 and 5 Trademark Law).

3. Species: In relation to the brand width, one can differentiate between the individual brand (only one product), the family brand (several products), the company brand, the umbrella brand and the generic brand.

4. Sender: The brand sender is the manufacturer (producer brand), the dealer (trademark, own brand, generic brand), the service provider and the craftsman.

5. Functions: a) For the consumer is a strong brand a condensed information (information chunk) that
(1) Provides additional information (e.g. about quality) and thus reduces the perceived purchase risk,
(2) Orientation aid within the many offers is
(3) creates trust,
(4) represents an emotional anchor, i.e. conveys certain feelings and images and
(5) contributes to the definition and communication of one's own values.

b) For the company serves a strong brand
(1) to differentiate your own offer from the competition,
(2) as a way of building customer loyalty
(3) as a platform for new products (brand expansion),
(4) as the basis for licensing,
(5) to protect your own offer from crises and the influences of competitors, including trademarks,
(6) for easier acceptance in retail.

6. Importance: Brand schemes determine how brand information is recorded, processed and stored. They become the central influencing factor on purchasing behavior. In addition, the brand has a high value for the company, which results from the memory structures of the consumers. Through the awareness of a brand, a corresponding positioning and the integrated use of the marketing mix measures, these memory structures can be built up and maintained.

7. Measurement: can be done by measuring the brand value. The brand value can be operationalized either from a behavioral or a financial perspective.

See also brand strategies.

Intellectual Property

Identification right belonging to the industrial property rights.

1. Legal basis: Trademarks are used within the national framework on the basis of the Trademark Act (MarkenG of 25.10.1994; Federal Law Gazette I 3082) with late amendment. protected. The MarkenG contains a new regulation of all trademark rights, i.e. not only trademark law, but also the law of commercial designations. The MarkenG also integrates regulations on the protection of geographical indications of source, as well as regulations for the protection of trademarks under the Madrid Trademark Agreement (MMA) and the Protocol to the Madrid Trademark Agreement, according to which trademarks are also protected internationally. In addition to national and international trademark law, trademarks can now also be protected in the form of a community trademark on the basis of the Community Trademark Regulation.

2. Basic features: The trademark law protects
(1) brands,
(2) business names and
(3) Geographical indications of origin (§ 1 MarkenG). Marks are protected as trademarks that serve to distinguish the goods or services of one company from the goods or services of other companies, i.e. have a distinctive character, with the exception of characters that are exclusively from a form determined by the nature of the goods themselves, one to achieve the technical effect a shape conditional on a commodity or a shape that gives the commodity substantial value. Words, personal names, images, letters, numbers, audio symbols, three-dimensional designs including goods or their packaging as well as other presentations including colors and color combinations are accessible to trademark protection. Brand protection is created nationwide once a sign is entered as a brand in the register kept by the patent office (§ 4 No. 1 MarkenG). In addition to trademarks, which are protected by registration, the Trademark Act also covers usage trademarks; These are signs that have acquired recognition in business dealings within the relevant public (§ 4 No. 2 MarkenG) and still have them. In contrast to the registered trademark, the local protection of the user trademark can be regionally limited depending on the extent of the traffic validity (e.g. for local services). There may be absolute (§§ 3, 8, 10 MarkenG) and relative (§ 9 MarkenG) obstacles to protection against trademark protection, whereby the absolute obstacles to protection are taken into account prior to the registration of the trademark by examination by the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) 37 MarkenG), the relative obstacles to protection and the existence of a notorious trademark with an older seniority can be asserted by means of an objection limited to three months from the publication of the trademark registration (Section 42 MarkenG). The commercial names are covered by the Trademark Act (§ 5 MarkenG) and the priority principle is stipulated (§ 6 MarkenG), according to which, in the event of a collision of labeling rights of any kind, the priority is decisive, which is determined by the date of legal creation. In the case of formal rights that arise through registration, this is the priority date, in the case of the inherently distinctive company names the day of legal use and in the case of non-distinctive company names, business badges and usage marks (equipment), which can only be protected by obtaining traffic validity become, the day for which traffic validity can be proven for the first time (business names, equipment). In this respect, § 12 MarkenG makes it clear that action can be taken against a registered trademark from an older equipment as well as from an older right to a business name and its deletion can be requested; The same applies to other, especially contractual rights, from which the use of the registered trademark can be prohibited throughout Germany (Section 13 MarkenG). Additional regulations apply to agent brands and collective brands. The trademark owner is reserved the right to mark, the right to first market it and the right to use the trademark in business papers and in advertising (right of announcement) in the form of (positive) rights of use and (negative) rights of prohibition (§ 14 MarkenG), whereby for the positive Rights of use The exhaustion principle applies (§ 24 MarkenG, exhaustion). Registered trademarks are subject to mandatory use (§§ 25, 26 MarkenG). Five years of non-use leads to the expiry of the trademark law (§ 49 MarkenG, cancellation) and possibly the creation of interim rights of third parties (§ 25 MarkenG). The trademark right can be transferred to third parties (Section 27 MarkenG). When transferring trademarks with the legal name of the person entitled, his consent is generally required (Section 12 BGB), with the exception of the use of the trademarks in the event of insolvency proceedings (business name). The granting of licenses is possible (§ 30 MarkenG).

3. Procedure: Trademarks are to be registered for registration with the German Patent and Trademark Office (Section 32 Trademark Act), unless they are protected by obtaining public recognition (equipment). The Trademark Ordinance of May 11, 2004 (Federal Law Gazette I 872) with later amendment regulates the procedure. You will receive the day on which the application is received by the DPMA as the priority date, unless a right of priority is claimed (Sections 34, 35 of the Trademark Act). The registration is subject to a formal check and a check for absolute obstacles to refusal (§§ 36, 37 MarkenG), on request the accelerated examination (§ 38 MarkenG) is carried out. Withdrawal, restriction and division of the registration are possible (§§ 39, 40 MarkenG). The registration process ends with the rejection of the application or its registration. Trademark law can be divided (Section 46 MarkenG). The entry is published by the DPMA and sets the objection period under Section 42 of the Trademark Act, with which the owner of trademarks with an older seniority can assert the relative obstacles to protection of Section 9 I, II, Section 10 of the Trademark Act (objection); (Section 43 MarkenG, compulsory use) and, in turn, bring an action for registration approval (Section 44 MarkenG). Registered trademarks can be marked with the ® sign (R = "registered"), but there is no obligation.

The application for international registration of the trademarks must also be submitted to the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) (Sections 108, 120 MarkenG, Madrid Trademark Agreement). The registration of the IR trademark is published and sets the objection period in accordance with §§ 114, 124 MarkenG.

4. Duration of protection: The trademark right is limited to ten years from the filing date and can be extended by ten years in return for payment of appropriate fees (Section 47 MarkenG), unless the trademark owner waives his right (Section 48 MarkenG) or the trademark right expires (Section 49 MarkenG) ). Reasons for expiry are above all non-use, the development of the generic indication as a result of a lack of legal awareness and the deceptive use of the trademarks on the part of the right holder or a third party acting with his consent. The trademark protection also ends if the trademarks have been registered despite the existence of absolute grounds for refusal or the existence of earlier rights and are therefore null and void (Sections 50, 51 MarkenG). Expiry and invalidity of the trademarks are reasons for cancellation (deletion). Forfeiture of the trademarks leads to the fact that the effects of the registration are deemed not to have occurred as soon as a lawsuit is filed and, if the grounds for expiry are present, if the trademarks are null and void, the effects of the registration are deemed not to have occurred from the start, are legally binding and Enforced decisions in infringement cases remain unaffected, as do contracts concluded and fulfilled prior to the decision; those injured in this respect can claim damages or compensation from an equity point of view (§ 52 II MarkenG). On the term of protection of IR trademarks: Madrid trademark agreement. In the case of IR trademarks, reasons for cancellation, forfeiture and invalidity are to be asserted through an application or lawsuit for deprivation of protection (§§ 115, 124 MarkenG).

5. Legal protection: Brands enjoy legal protection against the use of identical marks for goods or services that are identical to those for which the brand is protected (§ 14 II No. 1 MarkenG; identity protection). In addition, the trademark is protected against the risk of confusion (Section 14 II No. 2 MarkenG). Well-known trademarks enjoy protection against the use of identical or similar marks for goods or services outside the area of ​​similarity if their distinctive character or esteem is unfairly exploited or impaired.

a) Likelihood of confusion: This exists when several elements are present: The conflicting marks must be identical or similar to one another; furthermore, the goods or services for which the trademark is protected and for which the conflicting mark is used must be identical or similar. Due to the identity or similarity of the conflicting marks and the goods or services for which they are used, there must be a risk of confusion for the targeted public, including the risk of associating the conflicting mark with the protected mark. The assessment of the similarity of the conflicting marks depends on their overall impression, in the case of registered trademarks on the overall impression of the registered mark, in the case of factual rights and the mark contested as a trademark infringement on the overall impression of the mark in the form of its actual use. With word marks, the sound effect is usually decisive for the overall impression, differences in the typeface take a back seat to the sound effect. A different meaning of the aurally similar trademarks can reduce or exclude the similarity, the lack of meaning generally increases the likelihood of confusion. In the case of pictorial signs, the overall impression is shaped by the graphic design; in the case of combination marks composed of word and picture, it depends on which component gives the overall sign its defining character; Usually this is the word component.
b) Protection of the well-known brand / risk of dilution: Well-known brands and well-known business names are protected beyond the risk of confusion even if the conflicting mark is neither used for similar products nor in similar industries (§ 14 II No. 3, § 13 III MarkenG). A prerequisite for protection against awareness is, in addition to the awareness of the label, that it is associated with value or quality concepts or a particular originality that is transferred to another product area through the use of the collision symbol or is exploited on it. The degree of awareness of the well-known label, its originality and the associated quality and / or values ​​are interrelated, whereby the awareness of a label is assumed from 30 percent traffic rating (sometimes from 50 percent traffic rating).

c) Claims of the injured party: In the event of an infringement, the trademark owner has claims for injunctive relief, in the case of fault for damages (§§ 14, 128 MarkenG), in the absence of fault, claims from unjustified enrichment (§ 812 BGB), which are supplemented by claims to information (obligation to provide information) and destruction claims as well as the possibility of border confiscation. For collisions due to the extension of labeling rights as a result of German unity, see right of further use. Legal disputes from the collision of labeling rights are labeling disputes for which the regional courts are responsible (§ 140 Trademark Act).

d) Limitation and forfeiture: §§ 20, 21 MarkenG.
e) Penal provision: Section 143 MarkenG.