More traders taking on copycat rivals

The concern that one freelancer had about a copycat is now the engine that a London law firm says is powering a 17% acceleration in bids to block rival trade mark applications.

In fact, the number of attempts to stop the registering of conflicting trade marks in the last year has increased to 2,070, compared with 1,775 in the previous 12 months, says RPC.

“Businesses are increasingly toughening up the defence of their brands,” said the firm, pointing to recently successful challenges by H&M, Ralph Lauren and O2.

But big businesses are not the only ones taking steps to protect what’s theirs – or what they perceive to be theirs, according to RPC’s legal director Ben Mark.

“The IPO have made a concerted effort to reach out to SMEs and create greater awareness of what small businesses should be doing to protect their intellectual property rights.

“While big brands have been particularly active in defending their brands over the last few years, the message is now getting through to SMEs that ensuring their trade marks are protected is an integral part of building a credible brand.”

The law firm adds that businesses of all sizes are increasingly using ‘watch’ services to monitor any competitors who may be seeking to register a similar trade mark.

Such services are designed to allow businesses to react quickly to any potential threat to their own branding and trade marks, which the owners want to protect their investment in creating.

RPC also spoke of a jump in the IPO’s Fast Track Opposition system, designed to offer an effective and efficient way to object to potentially conflicting trade marks filed by rivals.

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Freelancers’ Questions: Is my freelance name open to challenge?

Freelancers’ Questions: Is a client allowed to trade mark my artwork?

‘Virgin’ not exclusive to Branson - ruling


26th January 2016

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