It’s important that rights owners have measures in place to police their trade marks. Trade mark registries, including the UKIPO and the EUIPO, do not routinely object to trade mark applications on the grounds that they conflict with earlier rights (for example, registered and unregistered trade marks, well-known marks or copyright). Registration of later, potentially conflicting marks can only be prevented by the owner of the earlier right choosing to object, either through opposition or infringement proceedings.
Competitors using similar brands or applying to register similar trade marks can erode the value of a brand. Not taking action against them can mean that there is acquiescence to their activities, further damaging your brand. Being vigilant ensures that your IP portfolio retains its value to both your business and your customers. Typically this would be through trade mark, domain name and/or company name watching services, which monitor for later, similar applications.
How we can help
We can advise on the correct type and territorial extent of watching services necessary to identify potentially conflicting marks and use, in order to ensure that there’s clear water left around your brand. In the event of a problematic mark being identified, we can recommend an appropriate opposition or challenge strategy and budget.
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