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What is the difference between a word mark and a word / figurative mark?

What is the difference between a word mark and a word / figurative mark?

Wordmarks

Wordmarks consist only of words, letters, numbers or other characters. They can be represented with a standard font. 

Such a word mark generally protects all forms of reproduction which are customary in the trade, in particular case-insensitive or uniform case-sensitivity and the exchange of common font types.

Example: For a "Hans" entry there is protection also for

HANS, Hans, Hans , Hans Hans

Word / figurative marks, logo's

It can not be said on a general basis that the protection of a word mark is sufficient because it encompasses all forms of representation. There are constellations in which the brands contain signs which can not be represented by a font but which are nevertheless to be protected. If the trademark contains such characters which can not be represented by a normal font, this is treated as a word / image mark or as a graphic mark.

If the applicant applies for the registration of a word sign in a particular notation, font arrangement, font design or color, if it is to a particular visual impression, it is also a word / image mark or image mark.

This includes, in particular, the following variants:

  • Combination letter / string and picture element
  • Multi-line arrangement of the words
  • Locked words (character between the individual characters)
  • Italic or bold words words or single letters in a particular font

Image marks

Image marks are pictures, picture elements or illustrations (without word components). Many non-Latin characters, such as Chinese, are also displayed as image tags.

Scope of protection of a word / image mark

The entry of a word / figurative mark does not indicate whether the contained character sequence would be protected as a "pure" word mark. However, a non-protectable word sign can become a protection by adding a special graphic design. Simple or customary graphic designs or embellishments are generally not sufficient for this. The more descriptive the word is, the higher the requirements are to the graphics. However, no prohibition rights against the use of the word can be inferred from a verbal word / figurative element which is not protected.

Advice on registration

If you have any questions concerning the registration of your brand, the choice of the most appropriate representation, the goods and / or services, pre-registrations, etc. that fit your specific needs, we are at your disposal.