Trademark watch services, mark monitoring

The registration of a trademark holder will receive a unique monopoly on the use of a particular brand. Claiming protection is step one, maintaining it is the next step in trademark management. A successful launch of a new product will attract imitators seeking to ride on the success. Remember that the trademark authorities themselves are passive and therefore do not check the registry if a trademark has already been registered or not. That is the responsibility of the proprietor. This means that another company can file a virtually identical trademark and that the earlier proprietor must act to maintain its monopoly (and to avoid market share / revenue lost to the other company).

With a trademark watch three aspects play a role; the trademarks, the products / services for which the trademark is registered and the country where both trademarks are registered. Our lawyers evaluate corresponding brands. If found, then, check whether the other party uses the trademark for the same products or services. Finally, it checks whether you have protection in that country and who has the oldest rights. Depending on this, we advise you about the steps to take. A trademark watch signals at an early stage whether a similar trademark was applied for. The advantage is that by quickly taking contact with the other party can often avoid a complicated and expensive lawsuit.

If it has detected a similar mark, then the first step write to the other party with a request to withdraw the application. If that does not do this then there are often two possibilities. Next set a formal procedure with the authorities so that the trademark is refused (opposition). On the other hand, a procedure may be initiated before the competent court to stop using the sign. Not acting is unwise because it dilutes your trademark.


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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?