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Trademark search

On the website of the Benelux Trademark Office you can check whether your word mark has been registered. (search engine Benelux trademarks) This check is only meant as an indication. It is not an exclusive answer if you can acquire trademark rights in the Benelux, because:

  • It could be that no trademark rights are vested in the the found trademark registrations anymore
  • It could be that the found trademarks have been registered for other goods and services with the result that no confusion can arise and therefore no problem.

And the acquired information says nothing about any other potential problems, because:

  • Also earlier filed similar trademarks for similar goods or services which could confuse the consumer could constitute an obstacle for the acquisition of a trademark right. The denominations "similar" and "confusion" are interpretable. The interpretation is done by court judges or examination divisions of the Registers in the so-called jurisprudence. It is the task of a trademark attorney to know the jurisprudence;
  • Also older tradenames could constitute an obstacle for the acquisition of a trademark right; 
  • Also non-registered famous trademarks could constitute a an obstacle for the acquisition of a trademark right; 
  • Also recently abroad filed trademark applications could constitute an obstacle for the acquisition of a trademark right, if based on such an application the priority right is invoked in the Benelux.


Benelux trademark search, worldwide trademark search and any variant

When adopting a new trademark it is important to know the risks you are taking. We can map those risks for you through conducting a trademark search. In a trademark search we examin the availability of a trademark by using the tools given to us by law and case law.

We can conduct searches on word- and device elements, on Benelux level or worldwide, on identical or similar trademarks and all possible variants.

The choice of the search is dependent on aspects that are of importance to the client and -if possible- will be adapted to the budget of the client.


Trademark opposition

What exactly are those risks? The first risk is that you will face an opposition against your trademark application. An opposition means that a third party with an older right objects against the registration of your trademark and notifies the trademark register. This is the so-called filing of an opposition by the owner of the older right.

In the worst case scenario your trademark application will be rejected and you will not acquire trademark rights, but in the meantime you have spend a lot of time and money.

For more information: see trademark opposition.


Trademark conflict

Another risk is that the owner of an older right prohibits you to use your trademark and wants you to immeadiately cease and desist the further use. Worst case scenario is that this third party starts a court case and that the court decides that the claim is justified. Consequently, you need to recall your products and services on which the trademark is depicted and also it is likely that you have to pay damage compensation. Nowadays in the European Union also a conviction in the legal costs of the counterpart are common and these costs can be very high.

For more information: see trademark conflicts