What You Need To Know About Trade Mark Infringement In Europe

by Tim Bishop on February 7, 2014

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Trade mark infringement is something that every business owner hopes to avoid, but if it does happen to you, what do you need to do? What are your options? And how does trade mark infringement in Europe differ to laws in other places? Here’s a brief guide to trade mark infringement in Europe and the main things you need to know.

European Rules For Registering Trade Marks

So how do European trade mark rules differ? If you want to register for a trade mark in the UK, it is done on a first come first served basis, and it will protect your rights within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In terms of the EU, you will need a community trade mark; this will protect your rights in the 27 EU member countries – perfect if you trade abroad. Community trade marks are also on a first come first served basis and are actually very cost effective. Registration can be done online and will be granted as long as your claim meets the standards set out by the Trade Marks Act.

Trade Mark Infringement In Europe

Trade mark infringement occurs when either an identical or similar trade mark is used by another company selling the same or similar products that could lead to confusion between brands and/or a bad reputation amongst a company’s customers. In terms of the European Union, the trade mark law is governed by European Union law as well as the national law within countries which are member states of the European Union. Within these member states, Directives are implemented by their national laws – these help to harmonise trade mark law across the EU (or at least that is the aim), making the rules more or less the same in each jurisdiction.

A European Case Study

If you’re having trouble with a European company, it can be useful to look at some recent high-profile case studies. Take Pinterest, for example. Over the past couple of years or so this unique social networking site has grown massively in the States (where it was founded) and therefore the company wanted to branch out to Europe with the same trading name and symbol of their already-successful brand. However, problems occurred because the Pinterest trademark was already owned by a London-based company called Premium Interest (the European trade mark court ruled in favour of the latter). To say the least, this put a spanner in the works of Pinterest’s plans to expand their brand internationally, with the European Commission’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, Trade Marks and Designs Division rejecting the claim in its entirety.

For More Information

So, if you own a business in Europe or are experiencing problems regarding trade marks with a European company, your next step is to contact a specialist trade mark lawyer who has extensive experience in this area. Feel free to ask them questions about their previous cases as well as their past successes involving trade mark laws in Europe.

Tim Bishop is senior partner of Bonallack & Bishop – UK Solicitors specialising in trade mark infringement cases working alongside highly experienced Trade Mark Attorneys from Mears Morgan LLP. Visit their specialist website at http://www.trade-mark-uk.co.uk


Tim Bishop
Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1986, Tim Bishop is a legal entrepreneur who owns law firm Bonallack & Bishop. Find out why you should choose the solicitors at Bonallack & Bishop: Visit www.bishopslaw.co.uk.
Tim Bishop

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