Detailed & wide coverage Trade Mark Searches covering the UK, US, EU, and other Countries around the world
Frequently Asked Questions
Trade Mark protection lasts indefinitely in the U.K., but the Trade mark owner is required to renew the it once every 10 years. For a Trade mark to be valid and not open to revocation, the owner is required to use it in respect of the goods and/services for which it was registered, and there must not be a 5 year continuous gap in which the mark was not in use. Furthermore, for certain countries such as the US, the registration process requires that an applicant presents ‘proof of use’ of the mark in the jurisdiction, before it is accepted for registration.
The first thing to do is to request a trade mark search for the jurisdiction in which you propose to register your mark. The search will reveal whether the proposed sign, be it a word, mark, or logo is already in use by someone else. At Sanrixa, we have experience in conducting Trade mark clearance searches covering the UK, the US, and many other countries.
Once the search comes back clear, we can help you file an application in the UK, or if you want to register in another country, then using our list of associates across the world.
In order to file a Trade Mark, a goods and services specification outlining the goods and / or services for which the mark will be used must be drafted, and filed as part of the application. Contact us for more information.
If business relationship has ended, there are a number of issues to consider, but was there a contract governing their use of your trade marks?
Also, it is important to ascertain when your business partner began using the trade mark (Before or after registration)? You have to ask these questions to determine if he / she has common law rights in the trade marks?
Did you obtain the trade mark registration before your business relationship, or during your business relationship? Further, whose idea was the brand? Is there anything that could cause you former business partner to claim that he / she was a co-owner of the brand, or suggested it before its registration?
If there is a contract, it’s important to look at what it says about use of the trade mark once the business relationship ends. Even if you do not have a contract that addresses post-termination, you may still have legal grounds against your former business partner in certain circumstances, and their use of the mark may constitute trademark infringement if you can demonstrate that such sales are likely to cause confusion among the consuming public as to the origin of the goods.
However, one problem you could encounter is if the consumers of your products are deemed to be above average or more discerning (for example if the individuals who buy your goods are skilled professionals). In such circumstances, the threshold for actual confusion has been interpreted as being quite high. But if it is established that the former business partner does not have any common law rights, then if your customers are unaware of the end in the business relationship, you may have a stronger case.
Infringement issues could also arise if your former business partner is selling goods deemed to be of a lesser quality that have your trade marks, the use being in ways that would suggest they are affiliated with your company. Additionally, you may have recourse if their use of the trade marks dilutes your mark (tarnishment or blurring), if your mark has a reputation with the relevant public. Tarnishment occurs if the products are being advertised as new, when in fact they are actually inferior to your new well-known products, whereas blurring occurs in dissimilar products whereby the use of your trade mark to on dissimilar products leads to the detriment of the prestige of your mark.