Archives for April 2012
When a trademark is famous, disputes regarding ownership of the trademark are more likely to crop up. This is especially common in family-run businesses when family members who used to work together part ways.
In a recent High Court case, two brothers, the First Plaintiff and the First Defendant, sued each other for the wrongful use of their respective trademarks. The First Plaintiff claimed that the First Defendant was passing off its business as the Plaintiff’s and the First Defendant claimed that the First Plaintiff had infringed its registered trademark.
The process of starting or conducting business in a foreign land is hardly an easy task, especially if a company intends to build and spread its brand in that particular country. There are many aspects that the company or enterprise should consider, from operating costs to the local practices and even the languages of the country.
Linguistic considerations are especially important in building and also securing the rights of a company’s trademark and brand in the country. The company should always check the language in which the mark is likely to be used by local consumers, its proper translation and the commercial impact of adopting the country’s local transcript for the mark. Many businesses, as a result of failing to do this especially in countries that implement a “first-to-file” trademark registration system, have often unfortunately found themselves prey to “trademark pirates” and “copycats” and subsequently lost their rights to a valuable asset of a trademark. One case in point is the recent trademark clashes of iconic French high fashion house, Hermès, with a Guangdong province-based company known as Dafeng Garment Factory in China.