Why you should rather say online seminar
In July 2003 a certain word mark was registered. Registered trademarks always enjoy only 10-year protection, therefore the term of protection was extended in 2013 - until March 2023.
But what is a brand anyway? Today's trademark law does not define the term trademark further, it only states that a trademark is protected under this law. According to §3 Abs. 1 MarkenG, for example, people, sounds or even packaging forms can be protected.
It is therefore necessary that a sign be capable, at least in the abstract, of indicating its commercial origin.
Ownership of a trademark can be held by natural and legal persons as well as by partnerships, provided that these can acquire rights and incur liabilities. The examination of the requirements for a trade mark is carried out by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), where the application is filed.
In connection with a word mark, it must be examined whether the signs or indications used go beyond a descriptive function. The combination of the terms "web" and "seminar" is extended in content in contrast to the terms used on their own.
EFFECTS OF TRADE MARK PROTECTION
Once trademark protection has been obtained, the owner of the trademark is exclusively entitled to use it, which means that third parties are subsequently prohibited from using it. This means that you may not use a sign identical to the trademark at any time without the consent of the trademark owner, insofar as a service is offered which is deposited in the trademark register.
Since all trademark protection is an industrial property right, the owner of the right is free to claim injunctive relief and damages in case of infringements by third parties "in the course of business".
A possible warning letter could possibly only be opposed by revocation under §49 MarkenG. In §8 para. 2 MarkenG various forms are listed which exclude a trademark from registration. In the case of the trademark name protected since 2003, No. 3 of the constellations becomes relevant. A trademark that exists exclusively as a sign that has become the common name of a service in common parlance is excluded from registration.
However, this customary practice did not exist at the time of registration, so there was no obstacle to protection at that time. However, the proprietor of the trade mark is to a certain extent obliged to ensure that the term does not become customary. The word, which must continue to be avoided in the future, has been in widespread use for many years. However, it is not known that warning letters have been sent to companies using the term in the course of trade. This brand name can also be found in the Duden. In this respect a possible prerequisite of §49 para. 2 p. 1 MarkenG might be given.
CONCLUSION AND CONSEQUENCES
It may seem surprising that a large number of companies use the term without knowing about its trademark protection. However, you should refrain from doing so if you are aware of this trademark infringement.
There are many synonyms for educational measures, also in connection with contents offered online. Get creative! How about, for example:
As you can see, there are many ways to deal with the stumbling blocks of trademark law. We recommend that you implement all measures and decisions on a long-term basis. In this way, you can fully exploit the potential of your digital channels and training measures and always stay one step ahead of your competitors.
GAL Digital has more than 15 years of experience in internet and app development from corporate relaunch to individual process solutions. If you have any questions we will be glad to help you.