A trademark is a symbol that can be represented graphically (word, image, sound). It serves to differentiate the goods and services of one company from those of another.

The trademark holder can prohibit a third party from using a symbol that is the same or similar to the trademark for the same or similar goods or services in commercial transactions without the trademark holder's approval. It is assumed from the outset that the risk of confusion exists for identical symbols and the same goods or services.

In the case of well-known brands this right of exclusion can extend beyond the realm of similar goods and services. Extended protection of well-known brands is only possible if use of the trademark or a similar symbol by a third party exploits or compromises the distinctiveness or the value of the trademark without justification in an anti-competitive manner.

Trademark protection remains in place for ten years, but can be extended for a further ten years as often as required upon payment of a renewal fee.