Caution with rebranding

Blog Marke

New website? New corporate identity with great corporate colour and font? New modern logo? Ready to relaunch the site? Yes? Then everything’s great…

Or is it?

It happens again and again that after the revision of the corporate identity, changes are made to the word/figurative trademark or the logo itself in order to give it a modern look. This is understandable, of course, but it also harbours risks that are often underestimated.

The use of registered trademarks in the registered variant form is necessary to preserve the rights of registered trademarks. In the case of word marks, changes to the form of use are unproblematic. However, it is more difficult with logos or combined word/figurative trademarks. Are the changes so far-reaching that there is a deviation from the registered form? This is sometimes not so easy to answer. Here it is advisable to seek advice from the relevant experts.

If the trademark is not used in the registered form, it is ready for cancellation and can be cancelled at the request of a third party. It is therefore no longer possible to use the registered trademark as a right of defence against third parties. This applies to both infringement and opposition proceedings. There is also a risk of so-called intermediate rights arising, i.e. trademark registrations by third parties in the period between the expiry of use and a possible cancellation.

It should therefore always be critically examined whether changes to logos or combined word/figurative trademarks could possibly lead to existing trademark registrations no longer being regarded as used. In case of doubt, the new variant should also be registered as a trademark in order to avoid a period of time in which the trademark rights do not exist.

If you have any questions about trademarks, please contact us.


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