Suzana Häggi
Topics: Trademark Law Subscribe

Trademarks often die slowly and silently

First published 23 February 2024 by Suzana Häggi

A trademark is weakened not only by the use of identical and confusingly similar marks, but also by the registration of such marks.

Many owners of registered trademarks have never heard of trademark monitoring. Why should they? The trademark is registered and everything seems fine.

However, the trademark offices in most European countries (in Switzerland: the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, IPI) and in many other countries only ensure that trademarks are registered, without checking whether identical or confusingly similar trademarks have already been registered. Trademark owners must therefore take the protection of their trademark rights into their own hands after successful registration.

Trademark owners can use trademark monitoring to be informed in good time of any disturbing trademarks that appear to be identical or confusingly similar and to take action against their registration by filing an opposition with the trademark offices. At the same time, they can often become aware of problematic use and consider taking legal action against it. This is an effective way of preventing the weakening and dilution of one's trademark rights.

The slides show recent examples of cases from the Swiss IPI where trademark owners have successfully defended themselves by filing oppositions.

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