What is real
is not external form.”
How many times did you ask how to discover potential infringements at an early stage?
Worldwide, the number of trademark applications is rising every year. As a result of Globalization and easiness of communication through social media, some regions (e.g. China) are registering more trademarks than others.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the trademark filings raised between 6% and 8% in the past two years.
In this context brand, owners face many difficulties concerning the registration of new trademarks that are unique, meaningful and do not pose any risk of confusion with other trademarks.
Very often, brand owners ask how they could discover potential infringements at an early stage. By the time they have already entered the market the rebranding process costs, rise exponentially.
Usually, to avoid all this, any company, before launching a brand should think about multiple names which encapsulate the essence of the brand and represents good alternatives. Once you have agreed with a list of names you can start a preliminary research to detect possible similar trademarks that are already registered. The aim of this research is to certify if there are potential trademarks confusingly similar to the new trademark.
Such a research could be accomplished by an IP attorney or a well-trained paralegal who uses public data basis or Internet.
To better understand the importance of this kind of research, we will give you a very famous example:
iSwatch vs iWatch
When the American giant, Apple, filed his trademark application for iWatch, in the United States of America it received a very strong opposition from Swiss watchmaker, Swatch. It opposed iWatch because it was confusingly similar to its trademark iSwatch and it presented a high risk of confusion for consumers.
The UK IP Office admitted the Swatch opposition and forced Apple to rebrand its intelligent watch as Apple Watch.
An availability search for the American trademark would have solved this problem instantly and saved a lot of the rebranding costs.
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