Contrary to the common belief, having a registered trade mark does not always mean your brand is protected as there is still a risk that your registration could be infringed by another business or individual who applies to register a highly similar or identical mark to that of your own.
Therefore, when you have successfully registered your trade mark, it is of vital importance to ensure that no one is infringing your brand as the infringement of it can not only have a negative impact on the reputation of your brand, but can also result in a loss of future earnings. So what steps can you take to prevent this? Firstly, if you find that an application has been lodged that you believe is highly similar to that of your own mark, you can prevent its registration by way of opposition proceedings. However, the relevant intellectual property office may not always highlight these applications to you so you will either need to ensure that you are continuously checking the relevant registers yourself or, alternatively, opt for a trade mark watch service, which is one of the most effective ways of detecting any potentially infringing trade mark applications.
By carrying out a trade mark watch service, or instructing an expert to this on your behalf, you can obtain the following information about potentially infringing trade mark applications:
- When a new application is filed;
- When a new application is published;
- Which class of goods and services the application is filed under; and
- The type of mark that is applied for (word and/or).
Detecting an application before it is registered may save you both time and potential legal costs in future as it is arguably harder to cancel a trade mark that is already registered in comparison to opposing one during its registration process – it is always better to catch any potential conflict sooner than later.
You can either carry out a trade mark watch service independently or better yet, have the experts here at Lawdit do this for you.
If you have any questions relating to this article, or you would like assistance with registering for a trade mark watch service, contact us today.