Quality is not the only element that contributes to the success of a product or a service. Brand recognition and benchmarking from competing products are also very important. The name of the company, the product and the domain together ensure that consumers can identify and recognize products and services. Appropriate IP rights (such as registered trademarks) are, therefore, needed to prevent any misuse or imitation. The best way of protecting the goodwill of a distinctive sign is to monitor the trademark rights.
The registration of a trademark or the use of a trade name or domain name may infringe prior trademark rights. For that reason it is highly advisable to conduct a search for any existing trademarks prior to the registration or use of a trademark so as to avoid costly litigation.
In the event of a pending claim for infringement of a registered trademark the legal and factual circumstances should be thoroughly examined and legal advice sought on the steps to be taken. This will keep to a minimum the potential damages arising from an infringement. In the event of imminent dispute, a surprise claim can be precluded by submitting a preventive statement of defence before the courts concerned. Time can thus be saved, which is particularly important if events, such as fairs and presentations, are due to take place in the very near future.
In the event of an infringement of your own rights, it is important to react quickly and consistently to forestall any unnecessary damage.