Trademark expert and partner Dr. Markus Grötschl, LL.M. provides you with information regarding Austrian Trademark law. What is a trademark, who is responsible for the registration of a trademark, what is a color trademark and what is exhaustion?


Brand development is important for companies. They create their own trademarks. But what is a trademark from a legal point of view?

Classic brands

If you want to register your own brand for your company, you must deal with so-called classic brands. What for example is the difference between a word mark and a figurative mark?

New brand forms

In addition to classic brands (word marks, figurative marks), there are also new tradeamark forms. What is a non-traditional trademark?

The Austrian Patent Office

Trademarks are registered rights. The Austrian Patent Office is responsible for the registration of Austrian trademarks. In addition, the Austrian Patent Office is also responsible for cancellation proceedings or invalidity proceedings.

Opposition proceedings

A trademark is a registered right. In case older rights are infringed, the holder of these older rights could initiate opposition proceedings to obtain the cancellation of the younger trademark.


“First come first serve” is important for the entire IP law. In general, the application date defines the priority date.

Trademark infringement

The proprietor of a trademark has a territorially limited right of exclusivity. This means that only the proprietor of the trademark is entitled to use the registered trademark. If third parties infringe this trademark right, civil and criminal actions could be filed.

Collective Trademark and certification mark

A collective trademark is a trademark owned by an organization (such as an association), used by its members to identify themselves. A certification mark on a commercial product indicates the existence of an accepted product standard or regulation, which was defined by the owner of the certification trademark (for example: a level of quality or accuracy or other characteristics set by the trademark owner).

Union trademark

The EUTM is a trademark that enjoys protection in all member states of the European Union (EU) with one single application. The EUIPO in Alicante, Spain is responsible for the registration.


In addition to trademarks, also company names, domain names etc enjoy protection.


For example, if an automobile manufacturer has placed his car on the market in the European Union (EU), resellers in the EU are entitled to use the trademark to resell this vehicle, because the trademark is exhausted. However, the principle of exhaustion applies only to the territory of the European Economic Area (EEA). If the trade mark proprietor puts his product on the market outside the EEA and this product is imported without the consent of the trademark owner into the European Union or the EEA, the trademark gets infringed (grey import).