What about infringement? How can I avoid it and how do I deal with it?
An older name/logo similar to mine already exists, is this a problem?
If you want to protect your name/logo, make sure that no other company has already registered a similar one for the same products and services. You want to avoid infringing someone else’s trademark rights. So it is important to do research on your competitors. Look for names/logos in the area(s) in which you would want to use your trademark.
Here are a few resources to help you:
- For the Benelux: https://www.boip.int/en/trademarks-register#/
- For the EU: https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/
- International: TM View https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview
A more recent name/logo is similar to mine, how can I react?
If someone uses a more recent name/logo similar to your trademark for identical or similar products or services without your permission, you can accuse them of infringement. You can then first try to contact the other party and request that it stops using the conflicting sign. If this does not help, you can go to court to enforce your trademark rights against the infringer.
In case another party has applied to register a trademark that conflicts with or possibly infringes yours, you can also file an opposition against the more recent trademark application. An opposition is a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure to resolve a trademark dispute via the competent trademark office without going to court.
If you discover a trademark infringement, the best course of action is to seek advice from a specialised legal professional, for example via the Benelux association for trademark and design law.
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