Employees of the patent firm

Current news

March 2018

Latest news with regard to the effect of the Brexit on EU trademarks and Community designs

The UK and the European Union (EU) have agreed that there will be a transition period from March 29, 2019, to December 31, 2020, during which the UK will remain part of the EU (with some exceptions most of the EU law will be applicable to and in the UK during the transition period). It was further agreed that owners of EU trademarks and Community designs will have their rights protected in the UK after the transition period. That means that there is no need to double file trademarks and designs at the EUIPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office until the end of the transition period. Moreover, until the end of the transition period (December 30, 2020) trademark and design protection with effect to the UK can still be obtained by filing an EU trademark or Community design.

The announcement comes as part of the release of the EU and UK government's draft agreement on the latter's withdrawal from the EU, published on March 19, 2018. The draft agreement includes provisions on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights after the end of the transition period. While the agreement is still a draft, some of the provisions on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights are finalized on a negotiator's level (i.e. it can be assumed that these provisions will not be subject to a substantive revision anymore).

According to such a provision finalized on a negotiator's level, the owners of the EU trademarks and Community designs shall, without any re-examination, become the holder of a comparable registered and enforceable trademark or design in the UK.

Specifics of creating equivalent UK trademarks and designs from existing EU trademarks and Community designs is still up for negotiation. It will be interesting to see whether such creation of equivalent UK trademarks and designs will be possible without charge or administrative burden to rights owners or not (as is actually proposed by the EU in the draft agreement). There are other points of detail which need to be agreed, particularly the ability for UK chartered trademark attorneys to continue to represent clients and businesses before the EUIPO, for example.

However, at least uncertainty about the need to double file trademarks and designs at the EUIPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office is ended by the latest agreement between the UK and the EU.

January 2018

World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000 reported

KUHNEN & WACKER has spent four decades refining its customer service into the premium offering it now is; its lawyers immerse themselves wholly in their clients' markets – so that nothing lies outside their field of vision – and then provide swift, reliable, business-focused counsel. Whatever the issue, prosecution, licensing or enforcement, Christian Thomas has the skill set and requisite experience to sort it out. He is as artful filing applications before the German Patent and Trademark Office as he is pleading in court.

(WTR 1000, the world's only independent multimedia publication dedicated exclusively to reporting on trademark issues for in-house and private pracitioners internationally)

January 2018


We congratulate our colleague Dr. Ulrich C. Wagner on successfully passing the Master of Laws (LL.M.) exam on December 8, 2017. In addition, since November 22, 2017, Dr. Wagner has been elected as a member of the Patent and Utility Model Law Committee of the Chamber of German Patent Attorneys (Patentanwaltskammer). We are pleased to work with such a committed and well-qualified colleague.

November 2017

Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Christian Thomas

Licensing best practice
Issue 69, World Trademark Review

October 2017

Publication by Rainer K. Kuhnen

Proposed Structure of the Unified Patent Court
Patents in Europe 2018/2019, IAM

July 2017

International patent prosecution and practice seminar

In cooperation with WIPO at John Marshall Law School, 
September 14 to 15, 2017, Chicago. 
More details in our PDF!

July 2017


We congratulate our patent attorney Christoph Straßl on successfully passing the EQE and thereby being admitted as representative before the European Patent Office.
We are delighted by the news, wish him the very best and continued happiness and success in his profession. We are proud to have him in our team.

June 2017

International patent prosecution and practice seminar in Chicago

On September 14 to 15, 2017 we will present our Seminar in cooperation with WIPO at John Marshall Law School. More details will follow soon.

June 2017

German Constitutional Court reviews the implementing legislation for the unitary patent package

As recently made public by news media, the German Constitutional Court asked the German Federal President already on April 3, 2017, at first orally, then in writing, not to sign (off on) the implementing legislation for the Unitary Patent Package, due to a constitutional complaint by a private person.

The reason for this is that the German Constitutional Court needs more time to consider the constitutional complaint which suggests that it is not without any merit from the outset, as is the case with the majority of constitutional complaints by private persons. Due to this request of the German Constitutional Court, the German implementing legislation for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent (UP), which should have been put into force this year, will be on hold.

This unexpected delay of the German ratification process as well as the unexpected outcome of the UK snap elections of June 8, 2017 render the further developments concerning the UP & UPC project questionable.

In fact, this move of the German Constitutional Court opens up a new scenario which, at best, further delays the operational start of the UPC system but also heats up speculations that the UP & UPC project may eventually fail, due to constitutional issues of Germany.

We will keep you updated on any further developments.

June 2017

Start of UPC further delayed

On June 7, 2017, the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published a statement announcing that the timetable for the start of the UPC Agreement provisional application period and target date for entry into operation of the UPC, previously envisaged for 1 December 2017, will have to be postponed.

The reason for this further delay of the envisaged start of the UPC is that some Member States have not yet agreed to be bound by the UPC Agreement's Protocol on Provisional Application. (The Protocol on Provisional Application allows various parts of the Agreement to come into force early and the 'provisional application phase' to start, during which final preparations for the start of the UPC system, such as recruitment of judges, can be completed.)

Following last week's meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council, Commissioner Bieńkowska stated that three more Member States are required to complete steps to allow for the provisional application period to commence. The Protocol will come into force the day after 13 states (including France, Germany and the UK) have either ratified or informed the 'depositary' that they have parliamentary approval to ratify the UPC Agreement; and have consented to be bound by the Protocol. Eight Member States already meet this requirement (Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden); and both Germany and the UK have each consented to the Protocol. Austria, Bulgaria, Malta and Portugal have each ratified the UPC Agreement but have not yet consented to the Protocol.
Though the Prep Committee did not provide a new target date at this stage, it will publish a new timetable as soon as possible.
We will keep you posted on this.

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