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Doing business abroad
Protecting your IP in Germany

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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Download the guide Doing business abroad Protecting your IP in Germany (PDF, 1.9 MB 15 pages)

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Doing business abroad
Protecting your IP in Germany

Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset that can support your business expansion abroad. A Canadian patent, trademark, or industrial design does not secure your rights outside Canada. You should consider obtaining IP protection in the countries where you plan on doing business, including selling products over the Internet and/or manufacturing products overseas.

Canada and Germany enjoy a strong and diverse commercial relationship that covers trade, investment, and science and technologyFootnote 1. Canadian exports in the European market have significantly increased in the last few years and continue to grow. Germany is a key market for Canada and our economic ties continue to deepen, including through the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Germany is Canada's largest destination for merchandise exports in the European Union (EU) and fourth overall source for imports after the United States, China, and MexicoFootnote 2. It is therefore important to know how to recognize, register and enforce your IP rights in Germany. For the most part, the protection and registration process for IP in Germany is similar to that in Canada. However, there are certain differences that you should familiarize yourself with by reading this guide.

In Germany, you can apply for patent, utility model, trademark, and design protection. If you wish to enter the German market or are already doing business in Germany, you should apply to protect your IP rights as soon as practically possible. Depending on your interests and needs, this will involve engaging with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), the European Patent Office (EPO), or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Canadian IP professionals are knowledgeable about IP rules and trends in many regions, including Europe, or have partnerships with counterparts abroad if they need to investigate further. More importantly, your Canadian IP professional can coordinate strategies as related applications move through multiple international offices, which can lead to cost savings. If you are interested in protecting your IP rights in Germany or elsewhere, seek advice from your trusted local advisor as early as possible.

Where is IP registered?

The DPMA is the agency responsible for the administration and registration of patents, utility models, trademarks, and designs. It is the largest national IP office in Europe with several offices throughout the country. Its headquarters is located in Munich. The DPMA operates within the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection portfolio.

Applications for patents, utility models, trademarks, and designs can be filed electronically at The DPMA's website also offers online searchable databases. A good first step is to search existing IP to check whether your anticipated IP use may conflict with or infringe on someone's prior rights.





Geographical Indications

IP enforcement

There are several ways to enforce your rights against unauthorized use of your IP in Germany:

Tips: Important notes

For more help

*The information provided above is meant as an educational resource only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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Ⓒ Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Industry, 2021

Aussi offert en français sous le titre Faire des affaires à l'étranger Protéger votre PI en Allemagne.

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