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Brand and Trademark Registration within the RENOLIT Group
The umbrella brand RENOLIT as well as the individual product trademarks are valuable competitive differentiators. They cannot be simply copied because trademarks enjoy special protection. However, they need to be filed and registered. But just exactly how does one register a trademark or brand name?
At RENOLIT, the initiative for such a registration originates from the Business Units. The reason for the registration of a new trademark can be a new product or an existing product which needs to be better distinguished from others. The brand registration is performed by Corporate Communications together with Rita Wrusch. Both collaborate closely with patent attorneys.
The first step is to determine what the new brand should represent: For which application is the product suitable? Which characteristics define the product? Ideally, these points should already be considered during the product development stage. It is important to inform the Corporate Communications department about any planned trademark protection well ahead because filing and registering a brand or trademark can take a long time and in some countries even years.
A name then has to be found for the trademark or brand. The name should ideally reflect the distinctiveness and properties of the product but must not be descriptive. “Apple”, for example, can be a brand in the area of consumer electronics but not in the area of foodstuffs. Normally, trademarks and brand names are imaginary names or a combination of terms. Name proposals could be generated with the help of creativity techniques, dictionaries or employee surveys and the Corporate Communications department is always willing to assist. When a name is found, Google and trademark registers are checked to see if it is already being used. If nothing is found, a professional search is then performed by a patent attorney.
A decision must also be made about in which countries and for which goods and services the brand name should be protected. The selection and definition of the so-called “class of goods” is very important because the register of goods and services cannot be extended after filing. Furthermore, the allocation of a trademark also bears an obligation to use it. If a trademark is not used within five years of filing, third parties can apply for its cancellation. Usage can only be proven if the correct and filed trademark is employed. This requires that the brand or trademark is correctly used in the filed form, both in speech and in writing and not abbreviated in any way.
Only when the name and the countries in which it should apply has been decided do the patent attorneys submit a so-called basic trademark to the European Trademark Office. There the application is checked and, ideally, referred for filing. After publication, third parties then have up to three months to contest the application for the new trademark or brand name. Only after these three months does the registered trademark enjoy the full protection by the law. The graphic on the right details the trademark and brand name registration process at RENOLIT. After the basic trademark is registered in Germany, registration starts in the other countries applied for. The exact procedure is laid-down by the patent attorneys.
All registered RENOLIT trademarks and brand names are monitored on a routine basis and conflicts with other trademark registrations arise regularly. In such cases, a possible trademark violation is reported and objections can be filed. Such objections are not always successful (see INFOBOX). But at least the trademarks relevant to RENOLIT give our company a real competitive advantage which no competitor can copy so easily.
If you have questions regarding the registration of trademarks and brand names, please contact Christiane Sperlich (christiane.sperlich@), Sandra Gerber ( renolit.comsandra.gerber@) or Rita Wrusch ( renolit.comrita.wrusch@). renolit.com
When does an objection to another trademark have a chance of success?
1. If there is a likelihood of confusion in the written or spoken form of a trademark or a brand name.
Image Ads Promote Business Units
The image motifs which visualize the core values of our umbrella brand RENOLIT are well known within the company. In the form of posters, they have been displayed in corridors and conference rooms around the world since 2011 and also appear, for example, in our four-month wall calendars.
Now the aim is to make RENOLIT's core values increasingly known to the outside world. This will strengthen our umbrella brand and increase the awareness of RENOLIT in a number of other industries. For this purpose, Corporate Communications has created an image ad for every core value. These advertisements will appear in a number of specialist journals during the course of 2014.
You are now requested to suggest publications in which such image ads could be shown. Publications in which Business Units already plan to advertise will be favoured.
If you have any questions regarding the image advertisements or plan to place an ad where an accompanying image ad would be worthwhile, please contact Kathrin Eckhardt (kathrin.eckhardt@). renolit.com
Social Media Guidelines for RENOLIT
Regardless of whether Facebook, Xing, Twitter or YouTube: RENOLIT employees use these social media. But what is taken for granted by many can also cause serious difficulties. Often, the users of social media do not know that their comments can cause problems. For this reason, Regine Koudela from Corporate Communications and the RENOLIT Data Protection Officer, Dirk Ehlert together with the agency Cyperfection are presently creating Social Media Guidelines for the whole RENOLIT Group.
The Social Media Guidelines should offer employees guidelines on how to behave in social networks. It is not a matter of avoiding warnings which would result from employees disclosing internal company information. The core of the Social Media Guidelines are ten simple recommendations, which if followed, allow the largely safe use of social networks. In addition, the Social Media Guidelines contain a glossary in which the most common terminology used in social networks is briefly explained.
The Social Media Guidelines will be distributed to employees in early 2014. They have to be signed by all employees. Additionally, the ten recommendations will also be distributed in an abbreviated, easy-to-read version. If you have any questions regarding the Social Media Guidelines, please contact Regine Koudela (regine.koudela@). renolit.com
- New template for business stationery
From February 1, 2014, bank transfers within the EU will only be possible with the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the International Bank Identifier Code (BIC). For this reason, the information on RENOLIT business stationery must also be altered. The new template can be found on the Intranet with this Link>>.
- Remaining quantities of 2014 calendars
The 2014 calendars which were ordered have long been dispatched. But sometimes more calendars than originally ordered are needed. For such eventualities, Corporate Communications has a few left over. If you still need some calendars, simply contact Steffen Spendel (steffen.spendel@). renolit.com