Trademark law includes registered trademarks, trademarks-acquired-by-use and business designations. Registering a trademark is done by applying with the respective trademark office for certain goods and services. The application will then be examined by the office and after approval of the necessary distinctive character, registered. The advantage of the trademark registration is that regardless of a reputation of a mark, from the date of entry, the exclusive right of the proprietor in the claimed territory is enforceable. In Contrast, trademarks-acquired-by-use and not officially registered may only claim protection in the respective territory they are known and their awareness is verifiable. The evidence of reputation however, is to be proven in a regular opinion poll. Due to these high risks and significant costs of an opinion poll, the financial effort by obtaining a registration mark is always justified.
The business designations include company logos and titles of works (§ 5 subpar. 1 German trademark act), trade names and other business operations to distinguish certain characters (§ 5 subpar. 2, No. 2 German trademark act). Company names relate to the company or the name of the merchant (§ 17 HGB). Titles of works are also protectable and include among others, titles of magazines, computer programs or movies.