Trademark News & Screw-ups Wembley FC petition attracts 18,000 signatures after FA trademark row

Different countries treat factual coexistence and coexistence agreements differently. What the article doesn't mention is that EUIPO (European Trademarks Office) doesn't check new trademark applications for being confusingly similar to other previously registered or applied-for trademarks UNLESS the owner of such prior marks opposes registration of a new mark. In other words, if you file a trademark for a mark that is identical to a preexisting trademark and the owner of the older trademark doesn't notice, EUIPO will approve and register your trademark. Also, European Union does not recognize the concept of common-law (unregistered) trademarks. Whoever trademarks the brand first, owns it. So here's what this means in context of this article. Wembley football club tried to get their brand trademarked, the stadium opposed registration, and during the opposition proceedings, the stadium prevailed—despite the football club's desperate attempts to prove coexistence. Two lessons here? Don't pick the brand you can't own. Protect your brand as early in the game as possible.

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