Germany's Hypermedia has filed an application to trademark the word MP3 in Europe. The Munich-based company submitted the application to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), the body responsible for establishing uniform protection of trademarks and industrial designs throughout the European Union.
Hypermedia's legal efforts apparently apply only to the MP3 name; the MP3 algorithms were developed by Frauenhofer-Institute of Erlangen, Germany, which holds patents to the process."
MP3 is one of the most frequently requested terms among Web-based search engines worldwide.
The request for copyright protection was published on 27 December, which means that owners of a similar brand have until 27 March to voice objections to the request. These objections must be filed with the OHIM offices in Spain either by fax, telex or post. Each counter-filing will cost 350 euros (£210).
The request was filed by former Philips subsidiary Fürther Grundig.
Translation by Matthew Rothenberg, ZDNet US