If somebody is using your registered trademark (or a similar mark) without your consent, then it is likely that they are infringing on your trademark and profiting from your rights. Taking early action to prevent damage to your business is essential.
Why are competing trademarks harmful to your business?
Any unauthorised use by a third party is likely to damage your business, its reputation and dilute the valuable rights in your brand as well as diverting revenue from you. People adopt competing trademarks in order to ride on another brand’s reputation, often providing sub-standard quality products which will damage the repute of the earlier registered trademark. Sometimes a competing brand is adopted out of ignorance of the rights a registered trademark provides but this does not lessen the potential for damage and dilution of your registered rights.
How can our team help?
We have a department dedicated to resolving trademark disputes and enforcing our clients’ rights. Our specialist IP solicitors/Chartered trademark attorneys have years of experience dealing with all kinds of problems associated with trademarks and our aim is to resolve issues expediently in the best possible way to ensure our clients retain the exclusivity and investment in their valuable brand.
We recognise the need for cost-effective dispute resolution which resolves matters in the best commercially sensible way through negotiation or formal proceedings. Our team is sensitive to the strengths and weaknesses of each particular case and providing sound commercial legal advice is our speciality.
We resolve the vast majority of disputes by negotiation, without the need for protracted opposition proceedings.
Different types of trademark objections
There are two key types of objections that may be made against your trademark; those raised by the Registry, and those raised by third parties.
Objections to an application by the Registry
Registry objections arise from Examiner’s interpretation and application of Trademark Law. These objections can take different forms and include Absolute Grounds objections which can be raised where a trademark is seen as descriptive of the goods and services applied for, or if it is deemed not to have sufficient inherent distinctiveness. Not all objections are well-founded.
If you are applying for a trademark through Trademark Eagle, we will advise you as to the likelihood of such objections before filing the application, and will also inform you on how best to avoid them. If an Absolute Grounds objection is raised, we might recommend that we submit written arguments to counter the objection. Alternatively, if the objection relates to the wording of the specification, then we will discuss this with you and suggest alternative, acceptable amendments. A Registry objection is by no means definitive and should not be regarded as the end of the road for your mark.
Third-Party Objections during the application process
This also applies to third Party objections, which are raised by those who claim that a published application conflicts with their own trademark interests. The formal opposition process can be arduous and expensive for all involved. At Trademark Eagle, these complaints are often negotiated and resolved prior to an opposition being filed. The majority of third party objections are resolved amicably between the parties. If a formal opposition is filed against your application this will initiate a process whereby both parties are required to make their case to the Registry. Even in this situation, there should not be cause for alarm, as the process allows for continued negotiations and our IP solicitors/Chartered trademark attorneys will often resolve matters or agree on a compromise with the opponent allowing for mutual coexistence.
Budgeting for trademark objections
Our filing process includes extended searches in order to help our clients avoid objections and oppositions, and we have a success rate in excess of 99% with the trademarks we file.
If a third party objection is filed against a trademark application our trademark Attorneys would briefly review the matter and ask you to authorise professional time to enable them to review the matter and provide you with their specific advice. This includes a detailed analysis of the specific objection and other party’s rights, whether these rights are subject to proof of use because of their age and your options to try and amicably resolve the matter. Our review of the matter also includes drafting and sending a proposal that is relevant to the specific case, if appropriate. Our experience shows that often 4 hours of professional time is required to provide you with the critical advice briefly set out above. We will ask you to authorise any additional work required.
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