Deutsche Post wins POST mark

    April 2009

    Trademark protection through use by monopolies?

    Deutsche Post AG (German forGerman Mail plc), the incumbent in the German postal market, achieved an important victory in the struggle to secure its trademarks rights in the term "POST" ("MAIL") in Germany before the Federal Supreme Court of Justice ("Supreme Court"). In a decision dated 23 October 2008,1 the Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling of the Federal Patent Court2 ("Patent Court") which had confirmed the cancellation of Deutsche Post AG's German word mark "POST" by the German Patent and Trademark Office ("GPTO").

    The campaign will, however, continue as the Supreme Court referred the case back to the Patent Court for further consideration. Additionally, even if Deutsche Post AG eventually prevails and keeps its German trademark registration, it does not necessarily mean that the incumbent will be in a position to prevent its competitors from using the term "POST" in combination with other word elements, such as "Die Neue Post" (The New Mail) or "City Post" (City Mail). This follows the Supreme Court's earlier decisions dated 5 June 2008 in the cases POST3 and CITYPOST.

    In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.