BIELEFELD, Germany, February 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The US media company Politico LLC has apparently failed in its attempt to establish a foothold in Germany and Europe through a joint venture with a major German publishing house.
The main problem is that Politico LLC does not own the rights to the Politico trademark in Germany. The German trademark owner Firmenwelten AG registered the name Politico for its own political media product back in 2013, a time when Politico LLC apparently did not have any ambitions to enter the German and European markets.
That, however, did not deter the US company from taking the German trademark owner to court, alleging "trademark counterfeiting" and "registering the trademark in bad faith". The court refused to accept this argument on the very first day of the proceedings.
Politico LLC had tried to buy the trademark from Firmenwelten AG through a Frankfurt-based brand agency. However, a deal could not be reached because of the purchase price offered and because the Frankfurt agency did not want to name the actual buyer. Subsequent sales negotiations also failed, and instead Politico LLC decided to take the legal route.
However, the court in Bielefeld did not reject the argument from the US out of hand. All the more surprising is that Politico LLC turned down the proposal of the court to buy the trademark for EUR 300,000. As a result, currently the company can now no longer press ahead with its expansion plans under the Politico brand.
In German media circles and in Brussels, where the editorial office is being set up, there is speculation about whether the joint venture can be successful in the absence of the trademark rights. The German company Firmenwelten AG also owns the rights to the name in Brussels. In the meantime, it is also being openly discussed whether the business model of Politico LLC can work in Europe. Stricter privacy rights for politicians, more than 20 different political centres in Europe and a completely different media landscape and culture make political reporting in Europe more complicated than the Americans think.
SOURCE Firmenwelten AG