Martin Hendry (Virtuoso Legal ) published an interesting and instructive article for Lexology which discusses the options one entrepreneur has in order to register its trademark.
The first case is when the business owner files for a trademark by himself without using professional help by a trademark attorney. The example presents a story of a Plumber company, which wants to develop a franchise network. The company’s owner in attempt to save some money filed a trademark application by himself without any trademark clearance search. In the meantime, he invested in advertisements and branding. The result was an opposition by a third party and financial loses after that. You have to bear in mind that in such situation a legal proceeding for trademark infringement can be activated by the owner of the earlier rights too.
The second case concerns a situation where the owner seeks support of a trademark attorney who does a trademark search for earlier already registered identical or similar marks and analyses the results. In that way, they can identify the chances for a successful registration and the risk for prospective problems.
But what are the chances to run into identical or similar marks?
Not so small. Only the TMView database gives access to more than 48 million trademarks around the world.
Not only the article proclaims that professional help is advisable in such situations but also the need for an IP strategy which to pave the way for a successful exploitation of IPRs after that.
Many companies and entrepreneurs underestimate these elements of their business which in some cases leads to a serious headache and financial loses.