We have talked a lot about the benefits and opportunities that come with trademark registration. Today, we will look at risks connected to the application and how we can reduce them.
We have to talk about risks.
Once we have registered our trademark, we can deter others from using the same or confusingly similar versions of it. However, during our application, the very same applies to us. Somebody with older rights on the same or a similar trademark can object our application. That is what makes a sustainable approach, careful planning and diligent research so important. Yet, regardless of how good we’re prepared, there can never be a guarantee. If somebody feels our application is in conflict with his trademark, he is free to file an objection.
What is an objection?
If somebody feels a new trademark application causes a conflict with his existing rights, he can send a letter to the Registrar expressing his concerns and requesting the application being rejected. That is called an objection. To ensure only people with a legitimate interest file an objection, there are some boundaries. Whoever files an objection has to provide a detailed explanation and pay a fee – usually several hundred Euros.
Objections open the door to many years of litigation. Luckily, they happen very rarely when diligent research has been undertaken.
Differences in handling objections
Each registrar has its very own regulations in regard to objections which comes with larger or smaller financial risks. The UK has an exceptionally fair policy. Anybody who feels a new application is in conflict with his own trademark has to contact the applicant and request to withdraw the application. This request has to be free of any charges or costs.
Withdrawing an application still means the application fees are lost. Yet, we cannot be billed for any legal fees or lawyers costs. This makes the UK a favourable jurisdiction to start an international trademark registration process.
We have to talk about time.
If we compare the Registrars of different countries and regions, we will notice a significant difference in the average time an application takes. An application in the UK, on average, takes 4 months to be approved and registered. An application in the USA, on average, takes 15 to 20 months.
The UK are a good jurisdiction to start.
The UK are an important market, they have favorable regulation and they offer one of the fastest registrations worldwide. You might want to discuss this with an expert or book our service to assist with a country launch strategy, yet in many cases, the UK are the ideal country to file the first trademark application. This is independent of the outcome of Brexit.
Once the UK application has been fully approved and registered, it can be copied to any other country worldwide.
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