What are Trade Mark Trolls?

Trade mark villains have been around for some time. These cause a risk for trade marks owners across the world.

A trade mark villain can be seen to be those who attempts to register a mark and then demands payment and threats of litigation to those who have similar or identical marks.

The trolls are known not to use the trade marks however they attempt to register trade marks that are well known or likely to cause an issue if accepted by an examiner. Some trolls find large well established companies that hold highly reputable trade marks in certain jurisdictions and seek to gain trade marks in the remaining countries. By doing this the corporations are likely to pay the trolls licensing or purchase fees.

Countries such as China have a first to file policy as opposed to a prior ownership policy. Therefore, the likeliness of trolls in this area are increased.

Here at the Trademarkroom we have set out some guidelines below on what to do if you become a victim to trade mark trolls:

• File all your desired trade marks as soon as possible in all jurisdictions you currently run in and future countries.

• File both words and logos in all desired jurisdictions (all languages, known as transliterations)

• At the Trademarkroom we can offer a watch service for your marks to see if there are any potential marks that could oppose you.

• Research your mark often

• Keep a record of trade mark reputability and use. This could be deemed as helpful if a trade mark dispute arises.

• If a troll approaches you, keep all documentation and correspondence in a file to present to your trade mark solicitor

If you are concerned about your mark or are currently being harassed by a troll, please do not hesitate to contact the Trademarkroom today.

Anna Orchard

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