It is hard to think of a business which is not currently feeling the effects of COVID-19. Unfortunately, during times of economic strife and uncertainty, the incentive for some less scrupulous businesses to try to maintain their financial security by utilising another business’ reputation is at its highest.
Businesses should therefore be taking steps to monitor their key marketplaces and forums in which infringement is, sadly, more common. We suggest businesses set up online alerts for their key brand identifiers (commonly a business, brand or product name) and undertake searches on a regular basis to identify the potentially infringing activities. For businesses who deal in physical products, and particularly those with significant e-commerce trade, checking the major ‘marketplace’ sites (such as Amazon and eBay) is also advisable.
If an infringement is identified then most platforms have takedown request functions, and this can be done in addition to any other action you might take.
Also, whilst cash flow is a concern for many businesses right now, it is worth bearing in mind that we are fast approaching the latest time when an EU trade mark application can potentially be filed and registration completed before the end of the Brexit transition period. If you can register an EU trade mark before the transition period ends, then you will be entitled to an automatic equivalent right in the UK at the end of the transition period, dispensing with the need for two applications (one UK and one EU) to get the same protection in the future.
If you would like more information on this subject or if you have any queries, please contact one of our team.
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