Trademark registration protects against both identical and similar brands, providing the owner of the registered trademark with the legal rights to issue cease & desist letters to running businesses and oppose new applications for trademark registration. It is however the responsibility of the owner to monitor and challenge these identical and similar trademarks. For this purpose, trademark monitoring represents a highly recommended service, ensuring the uniqueness of the brand. There are several forms of trademark monitoring that differ in their scope and quality.
Automatic notification about similar trademarks by the IPOs
In the EU (EUIPO) and the UK (UKIPO, the respective intellectual property offices issue a notification for owners of registered trademarks if a highly similar trademark is being registered. This form of trademark monitoring is carried out by the respective IPOs without additional charge. The scope of this protection is however subject to the discretion and criteria determined by the intellectual property offices.
Dedicated trademark monitoring services
Dedicated and continuous trademark monitoring services are provided by several providers of brand protection services, including Trama. The pricing typically depends on the number of countries and classes included in the monitoring service. This type of trademark monitoring services tends to scan all newly filed trademark applications and depending on the preferred set up of the client, notify about identical or similar trademarks being filed. This allows the owner of the registered trademark to challenge and oppose similar trademarks during the opposition window and thus prevent their registration.
Monitoring of marketplaces, social media, hosting domains and commercial use
The two of the aforementioned forms of trademark monitoring relate solely to the evaluation of newly filed trademark applications, neglecting the potential infringements in commercial use. Therefore, a more comprehensive form of trademark monitoring takes the form of monitoring online marketplaces, social media, hosting domains and commercial use, scanning large quantities of data in order to identify potential brand infringement attempts.