How can digital business models and brand personalities be protected by trademark and patent rights? KPMG organized a practical workshop for start-ups in Munich. Under the heading Smart Start – from seed to speed, the auditors and consultants at KPMG are pooling their skills in order to support founders with contacts, know-how and resources.

In the Skilling me Softly series, the consultants focus on important business topics such as taxes, finance, human resources and IP. On February 25, the topic in Munich was the protection of digital business models with digital patents and the new digital multimedia brands within the framework of DIN 77006, Sebastian von Rüden, LL.M., attorney, specialist attorney for intellectual property from KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Düsseldorf and Prof. Dr. Alexander J. Wurzer from the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies, University of Strasbourg gave practical examples and reported on the latest developments in digital trademark protection through the Trademark Law Modernization Act (MaMoG).

On January 14, 2019, German trademark law was modernized and adapted to the EU trademark law directive (2015/2436). What sounds like a simple administrative act is nothing less than the digital transformation of the brand as you know it from the supermarket shelf and from emblems on hoods. What at first sounds like an administrative petitesse, “the graphic display is no longer necessary”, corresponds to a revolution of the old goods designation law from the year 1894. The term brand was only introduced in 1995 in the Trademark Act (MarkenG). The current reform is making great strides into the digital world. Sound marks can now also be registered that cannot be represented by the usual notation, for example, such as an engine noise or the roar of the MGM lion. But it can also be a sound that accompanies an animated transition in a mobile app. In addition, there are the possibilities of movement marks, which can be used as video files e.g. can be submitted in MP4 format and image and sound marks are also possible as multimedia marks in MP4 format – the spectrum ranges from video to hologram. This opens up completely new protection options for screen-oriented applications. Precisely because these brand forms are completely new, the new digital display methods offer enormous opportunities to comprehensively protect digital brand personalities.

Practical cases for protecting digital business models can be found in the following article: