The right to company names generally arises once it has been used to conduct business, though there are two issues which one must bear in mind in this regard.
In establishing a company, one runs the risk that the company name which has been selected will potentially infringe upon existing third party rights. The research conducted in the course of registering with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce is entirely inadequate when it comes to avoiding this danger (a fact that is, unfortunately, rarely mentioned).
The second potential danger arises from the fact that the right to a company name is geographically restricted to the area in which one is commercially active. This means that when expanding into new markets, opposing trademark rights - whether accidentally or deliberately - may have emerged since the name was initially used in Germany and its initial use in the foreign country.
If desired, we gladly provide clients with legal council on selecting a company name - the main aim being the selection of a protectable company name - and conduct research to avoid potential conflicts with third party trademark rights. In particular, we work with clients to establish strategies for avoiding the above-mentioned problems, for example via early and comprehensive trademark protection even in those countries in which the company name will not initially be used. We also monitor company names to the desired extent to check for potential or actual third party infringement. We represent our clients before the appropriate courts in the event of conflicts that may arise in connection with third party trademarks or in the event of infringement of clients’ company name rights.