Trademark News & Screw-ups P&G's Olay loses out in trademark fight with Nelovy Pharma

In most countries, the job of the Trademarks Office is to check whether the applied-for trademark is confusingly similar to other, previously registered or applied-for trademarks. If the Trademarks Office approves the application, anyone may raise their hand, claim that their rights would be violated if the application were to proceed to registration and ask the Trademarks Office to reconsider. This is called "opposition proceedings." In most countries, only a tiny fraction of trademark applications ever get opposed because most confusing marks are caught by the Trademarks Office at the trademark examination stage. No so in the European Union where the Trademarks Office, despite receiving one of the highest official fees for trademark registration, does not check newly applied-for trademarks against previously filed ones. Therefore, in Europe, it is up to the owners of the previously-filed trademark to catch possible conflicts. Either way, opposition tends to be a very expensive process. It's basically a lawsuit within the Trademarks Office system. While Olay's argument may not seem terribly persuasive to you, the issue is that in the EU, the only way to really test it is through initiating opposition proceedings. P&G's got an almost unlimited budget, while the other side obviously doesn't. Many oppositions result in perfectly registrable trademark applications being abandoned by their owners; simply because they could not afford the opposition fight. In this case, Solav didn't cave in - and won. Good job.

The video below features Andrei Mincov's commentary of this article.



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