Why you must monitor for Conflicting Brands
It is a known fact that the registration of trademarks offers a more powerful legal position to defend your trademark rights if infringed. Many businesses assume that once the registration process is completed, their brand is safe and secure from all infringement. Still, in reality, once a mark is registered, it requires continuous monitoring and checking. The trademark rights are protected considering several factors - how long is the mark being used, your business's geographical presence,
whether you are using the same logo, artistic work of a trademark which was registered? Whether the trademark owner is vigilant on his trademark rights, including keeping an eye out for unauthorized uses by third parties and the trademark exists in the market or confusingly similar to your mark.
For instance, your company is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. You have a trademark SYNERGY for IT Service; however, some other companies use identical or confusingly similar trademarks as SINERGY and apply for trademark registration. In such cases, the trademark examiner would very likely refuse the third party's application on the ground of being confusingly similar to your trademark. However, in several instances, the trademark examiner might overlook the similarity and publish such deceptively similar trademarks, which may eventually get registered in case of no opposition.
Thus, the onus is on the trademark owners to continually monitor such conflicting marks. In case of any such conflicts, they must exercise the option of filing a Notice of Opposition at the Trademark office to restrict such conflicting trademark registration. Filing such opposition will protect your trademark rights and prevent the third party from enjoying the same benefits as you and the dilution of your brand value.
What happens if you do not file an opposition?
Let's assume that you failed to notice or choose not to oppose the SINERGY trademark. Your competitor may sell something similar to yours under the trademark SINERGY brand. You are bombarded with your clientele' queries about the other brand co-exist with your company's brand. Now you're concerned and want to take legal action against the other company to defend that you consented to use the SINERGY brand to co-exist in the market. This is evidence that both are not confusingly similar.
Thus, they will say there is no trademark infringement as the trademark SINERGY is also a registered brand. They hold the same right as yours, or even they can counterclaim against your use of the trademark "SYNERGY."
So, in a nutshell, however, is critical: If you fail to prevent others from identical/similar trademarks regarding similar/related goods, you might lose your brand's value in the time.
The trademark office publishes nearly 8,000 to 15,000 trademarks every week. You might also require to send a cease & desist notice and file opposition against the third parties who are infringing your trademark rights. However, monitoring from such a vast database and taking actions from time to time is not overly complicated or expensive if you have engaged the services of a competent trademark attorney who provides the "trademark watch service."
Your trademark attorney will continuously monitor and compare your trademark against new applications and notify you in case of any potentially conflicting marks.
Unimarks Legal Solutions, with the panel of full-time trademark attorneys, sets up a watch service for one or multiple trademarks and offers advice on which ones are worth pursuing, based on your brand strategy and market concerns.
“Engaging the trademark watch services is a proactive move that will stop severe problems in the future and eventually increase your brand's value over time”.
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