The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) recently reported that over 70,000 UK trade mark applications have been filed this year (between January and April 2021), compared to just 37,000 for the same period in 2019 and 2020. 2021 has also seen a surge in monthly international trade mark applications figures, passing the 2,000 mark for the first time in February.
With such a rapid increase in trade mark applications in the UK – almost double the number for the equivalent period in 2019 and 2020 – comes the heightened risk of infringement and dilution. Watching services – in which brand owners' trade marks are monitored for potentially conflicting new applications across an individual country, region or even worldwide basis – should therefore be prioritised. Mathys & Squire is able to offer a competitively-priced watching service for all trade mark clients. We offer such services on a tiered basis depending on our clients' requirements.
In the event that clients are alerted to a third party application which is of concern, our team is experienced in assisting clients in opposing such applications in the UK to preserve the distinctive character of their trade marks. We are also well-equipped to assist in settling such conflicts, for instance by way of negotiating coexistence agreements, offering a pragmatic, commercial approach to such conflicts.
The existence of a large number of new applications on the register highlights the importance of performing trade mark register searches prior to filing new trade mark applications in order to assess the risk of conflicts arising early on in the application process. Our team has access to a searching platform which mines data from registries around the world, including the UKIPO, which allows our team to assess the risk in clients adopting new trade marks.
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