Brand name disputes arise if you are using a name or other brand symbol that someone else claims to have a better title to, or if you find someone using confusingly similar branding to yours. As it is not widely appreciated that it is necessary to check the trademark registers before using a name, brand name disputes are one of the most common ones we see. For example:
- A domain name is registered, sometimes for thousands of pounds, only for the owner to receive notice that someone else claims better rights to use the name for their business.
- A domain name is registered that is too similar to a well-known mark. For example, even if you have managed to buy a domain name for cocacolaclothing.co.uk for your online clothing business it does not mean you are entitled to use it.
- A logo is registered as a UK trademark, but an EU trademark owner believes it infringes on their word mark, and asks the owner to withdraw all products bearing that logo.
Sometimes the other person may be using their own name in business, but this may conflict with a registered trademark.
Resolving the dispute
Brand name disputes usually take one of three forms:
- Disputes in relation to registered trademarks
- Brand name disputes in ‘passing off’ relating to unregistered trademarks
- Domain name disputes
Whether or not the brand name is a registered trademark, and no matter how strong or weak your position may be, there are a range of ways in which using experienced trademark commercial lawyers will help you to reach the best possible outcome.
If you need to change your name, we can help you find an alternative one and avoid the same problem reoccurring in future.
We are well placed to assist you to resolve any brand name dispute, drawing on our considerable experience to achieve the best outcome for you. So, whether it is your brand that is being used by someone else, or someone has objected to your use of their brand contact us for a free consultation.
For further help call us on +44 (0) 20 7700 1414.