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No warning notices due to "webinar"

Redaktion PSI Journal

Published on 22.07.2020

At the end of June, information about an alleged risk of a warning notice as a result of using the term “webinar” caused some concern. According to the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), however, no warning notices are to be expected.

The term “webinar” was already registered as a trademark in 2003 and the trademark owner is represented by a law firm in Wiesbaden. After reports of alleged warnings had become more frequent, the trademark owner instructed his law firm to issue a statement at the beginning of July 2020 that he had not sent any warning notices and that he did not intend to send any regarding the use of the term webinar. In his view, the use of the trademark WEBINAR® is not synonymous with the term webinar which is used in everyday language as a generic term for online seminars. The term “webinar” can therefore be used without hesitation in this or a modified form.

In the meantime, however, several requests for cancellation have been filed with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, inter alia on grounds of revocation due to the development of the trade mark “Webinar” into a generic term. Further developments are to be monitored. At the present time, however, the risk of a warning notice due to the use of the term “webinar” seems to be minimal.