Once a trademark has been registered in the trademark register, its value can be massively weakened by new applications from similar or identical younger trademarks. But how can the potential infringement of one’s own trademark be recognized and the dilution of the sign be prevented?
With the registration and publication of a trademark in the trademark register, the procedure before the responsible trademark authority is provisionally concluded and the trademark owner obtains protection for his trademark. However, the trademark authority does not check within the scope of the background procedure whether older trademarks with possibly better rights speak against the registration of a trademark. This means that the authority is not responsible for informing third parties about a possible trademark infringement, but also for informing the applicant that possible better rights speak against his trademark protection. It can be concluded from this that every trademark owner is responsible for monitoring and defending his trademark after it has been registered.
Trademark defense as a measure to defend against infringement requires monitoring, which is then followed by the offensive in case of emergency. Within the scope of the monitoring, the relevant registers are periodically checked with the intention of recognizing possible conflicting new trademark applications. Once the “danger” has been identified, the subsequent trademark defense strategy can be addressed.
In defending a trademark, it is important to react quickly, in particular by issuing a warning notice and filing an opposition or contractual agreements against the interfering party.
Special attention should be paid to the opposition proceedings. This is a registration procedure and should therefore be as simple, fast and inexpensive as possible. Furthermore, it is also possible to conclude a coexistence or demarcation agreement, in which it is specified how the conflicting trademarks can coexist and where their boundaries are and for which goods and services they claim protection.
The more invested in a trademark, the less willing there is to abandon or adapt it. Therefore, in addition to the search before filing a trademark application, it is worthwhile to monitor the trademark, because in this way a trademark infringement can be detected in time and an (usually) amicable settlement can be reached.
We are happy to monitor your trademark and help you defend your trademark rights.
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