After having been required to be part of Amazon’s Brand Registry in order to buff up hipi‘s product listing, its creator Su-Lin Chee applied for a trademark from the Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (German Patent and Brand Office). She recounts the process below.
Just as with the German utility patent (which I wrote about here), I was not very keen to get a trademark. Besides not wanting to stump up the costs, I am not a big fan of using the legal system to control market forces.
It turns out that in order to “unlock a suite of tools designed to help you build and protect your brand, creating a better experience for customers”, I needed to be part of Amazon’s Brand Registry, which in turn required me to prove a trademark to my product.
In truth as well, while a cute name like hipi can be of course thought up by anyone, I had invested quite a bit into the publicising this brand and I did feel I have the rights to reap from this exercise, hence the final application.
Long story short, applying for a trademark is way easier than applying for even a utility patent. The main steps are:
- Go to https://direkt.dpma.de/marke/ and fill out your details (you don’t have to apply as a business entity and can apply as an individual) as well as your product category.
- The main question is whether you want to apply to protect the word itself (“Wortmarke”), in my case “hipi”, or the logo, which is essentially a graphical image. According to my research, protecting the word itself gets you more coverage that protecting the logo, so I went for that.
- Pay the specific fees, which were in my case 290€.
- I received the physical certificate (“Urkunde”) in about 2 months.
Of course, most people would say, if you wanted to protect your brand in Germany, you might as well apply for a trademark in Europe, which would have cost 850€ in one class (which I think is a product category). But that was just a bridge too far for me, as a cost.
So yes, overall, I am quite pleased I applied for the trademark. It was quick and easy, and I get another certificate to hang on the wall. Now all I have to do is go through that bleeding Amazon brand registry application 🙂