Legal advice in case of disputes

Our legal counsels will always start with making a proper assessment of the situation in question,  together. Questions that might be relevant in making this assessment are: what is the conflict  about and what are your concerns? We will assess if we can reach an agreement with the  opposition through negotiation. We will look after your interests in all negotiations. Should this  approach not give the desired results, we will then start the appropriate procedures with the  relevant public organizations. In many cases, there are special arrangements or the option of  arbitration. The benefit of these arrangements is that they are often faster and less expensive than  going to court. The latter can, however, not always be avoided. Sometimes interference by a  judge is simply necessary.

Legal advice in case of trademark infringement

Trademark infringement can occur in the following two ways: 

  • Another party uses your trademark or tradename, 
  • another party applies for a trademark that is identical or similar to your trademark for the  same or similar products and/or services as yours. 

When you allow an infringing trademark to co-exist with your own trademark for 5 years (in  other words: when you don’t take action against such infringing trademark), you lose the right to  take action against this trademark in the future. Your trademark is then exposed to decreased or  lost value. Therefore, it is very important to immediately take action against any possible  infringement.

The opposition procedure, which is mostly a purely administrative procedure, consists of two phases:

Phase 1 of the opposition procedure

In the first phase, the so-called ‘cooling off’ phase, we will try to reach an amicable settlement  with the opposition. After we have established the suspected trademark infringement, we will  send a cease-and-desist letter, illustrating why there is a trademark infringement. We will  urgently request the infringer to, for example, change the products or withdraw the trademark.

Phase 2 of the opposition procedure

If the conflict is not solved after the cease-and-desist letter and negotiations with the  opposition, we will start the formal opposition procedure with the applicable public trademark  authority. Both the trademark holder and the infringer will have the opportunity to substantiate  and provide evidence. The opposer will have to convince the public trademark authority that  there is a genuine risk of confusion of the public.

The decision of the public trademark authority

In the second phase of the opposition procedure, the designated trademark authority will make a  decision. This decision-making is bound to strict guidelines. For example: the authority will  presume the information in the trademark register is the correct data of the trademarks involved.  If the trademark authority rules in favor of the opposing party, the opposed trademark cannot be  registered. If the public trademark authority rules against the opposing party, the opposed  trademark will be registered.

Why is trademark watch so important?

European trademark authorities will not stop new trademark applications that conflict with  existing trademarks. This is up to ‘the market.’ In other words: the trademark holder needs to  keep an eye on any possible infringers of his trademark himself. Furthermore, the submission of  objection against a trademark application is subject to a deadline. And the trademark holder  needs to also keep an eye on this deadline themselves. 

With our watch service we will take this burden off your hands. If we notice a trademark  application that is a potential risk, we will immediately notify you. This way we can take action  quickly and within the appropriate period. 

 

Subscribe to our watch service now!

An accurate watch is very important for the optimal protection of your trademark. This is why  we offer (in principle) a free first year watch subscription for every new trademark. You can  choose to start the watch service at any moment: with the application of the trademark, during  the registration procedure or after the registration of the trademark.

Please call 076 – 514 84 03 or send an email to: info@merkecht.nl.

Ask your question

Are you dealing with a conflict or is your trademark being misused? We are here to help! How can we be of service?