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Seize of trademark threat

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property & Trademarking' started by JLT, Jan 13, 2014.

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    JLT

    JLT Applicant

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    Hello everyone.

    Thanks for taking the time for looking at my post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    I have been trading since 2005 under the same name (continuous use). Without trademark and without the ™ initials in any of my online or printed material.

    Today I have received an email (and shortly a letter, as stated in the email) requesting that I stop using the the portion of my name that they have a registered trademark on.

    They say they Trademarked their name in 2007.

    So my question is - can they force me to do that, bearing in mind I had been trading 2 years (or so) prior to their application/approval.

    Also, for a bit more info there does seem to be some overlap in services that we provide. But the main aspects of our businesses are not the same

    Many thanks

    Tom
     
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    Mark

    Mark Moderator Staff Member

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    As I understand it, if you can prove that you've traded for longer under the disputed trade mark then you may have a good case, regardless of actual trade mark in force but I may be wrong.

    You'll need to consult a trade mark attourney for specialist advice relating to your case if you value it highly.

    I'd also suggest that before you seek their advice, and at least in the immediate term, you don't cease using the disputed mark as that could be seen as an admission of 'guilt'.

    Welcome, by the way. :)
     
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    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    You could try and scare them a little and file for the trademark to be removed under the belief that they registered the trademark with the foresight of removing their older competition at a later date .

    I dont actually know if thats possible or a plausible reasoning but i know you can certainly file for the removal of their trademark , like mark said i would certainly hire a Trade Mark attourney as quick as possible.
     
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    Mark

    Mark Moderator Staff Member

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    QualityLondonApartments

    QualityLondonApartments Virtual Assistant/Serviced Apartments Specialist

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    As I understand it Tom, TM only means that they may be thinking of registering their name as R for registered. Until they have an R, a TM does not give them the right to stop you using your name. I found this website about intellectual property for you, hope it helps.

    Intellectual Property Office - Trade marks
     
    Mark and (deleted member) like this.
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    JLT

    JLT Applicant

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    Thanks for all you help.

    I have phoned the IPO and they say that the Company with the trademark has the right to demand I stop using their name (the trademarked part) even though I have been using it longer than them.

    I am seeking further advice.

    I'll come back to you when I know more….
     
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    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    Sorry to hear that, thanks for updating the thread as it progresses im sure the info will help others.
     
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    ProDemon

    ProDemon Graduate Premium Member

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    As mentioned they do have a right to demand you stop using it (but then a murderer has a right to a fair trial but it doesn't mean they'll win).

    I'm not sure but I believe you should have a right to defend your usage, especially if your products / serevices don't overlap, so maybe even moving the part that overlaps to a new name and keeping the main part the same (as long as it's in a different class to the registered trademark).

    That said, defending your name (or trying to), could work out a costly process so your best bet would still be to talk to a specialist attourney.

    Sad times really when someone can be happily trading away for years and someone can register a trademark and essentially steal their reputation, not from existing customers as they can be notified of any name change, but for anyone searching (certainly an (albeit harsh) lesson in there).

    Hope there is something that you can sort out, but if not all the best in as smooth of a transition as possible.
     

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