I see a trademark that looks like mine

If you see a trademark in the Trademarks Register that looks a little similar to yours, be aware that it is possible for similar trademarks to exist alongside each other. Read more about what you should look out for. 

First, check the products and services 

The owner only has an exclusive right for the products and/or services the trademark has been registered for. If you want to register your trademark for completely different products and/or services then, in principle, you can go ahead and do so.   

Be careful that the other trademark is not a well-known one though. If your trademark is too similar to it, a well-known brand can successfully file an objection, even if you apply to register for completely different products and services.  👇

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Is your trademark distinctive? 

Have you completed step 1: ‘Check whether your trademark already exists’? And is your trademark available for the products and/or services you want to use it for?  

Go to step 2: Is my trademark distinctive?

Confusion with a trademark registered earlier 

If there is a risk of your trademark causing confusion among the Benelux public, the owner of the trademark that was registered earlier may be successful if they file an objection. You should avoid this kind of situation.  

What constitutes a risk of confusion?
There may be a risk of confusion if it is possible the public might believe the products or services you are offering under your brand actually originate from the holder of the trademark that was registered earlier. This is a case, in other words, of similar products and/or services, as well as a similar trademark.

Good to know:
Someone else can file an objection against your trademark application if they believe there is risk of confusion. If you are unsure, it is best to consult an IP professional for advice. You can find an IP professional via https://www.bmm.nl/en/node/19

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