If there is a risk of confusion, trademark owners can hope for the best and do nothing; they can take legal action by opposing the other person`s trademark application or by authorizing the trademark to be filed, and then seeking an injunction; or they can agree on how to co-exist. A brand co-existence agreement is a legal contract linking the signatories under certain conditions. It will limit the use (and often where) of a brand and influence how goods or services can be marketed. Here`s what you need to keep in mind when negotiating with another company that uses a similar brand. A brand co-existence agreement is a broader agreement that offers even greater protection than a simple approval agreement. Co-existence agreements generally include unique restrictions on sites, industries and/or marketing methods in which two parties can use their respective trademarks. These specifications apply in addition to the points mentioned above in the approval agreement. Co-existence agreements are particularly useful for companies wishing to develop and avoid future infringement procedures and/or litigation. A simple approval agreement is generally cheaper because it includes less time and resources for the project. However, you will receive what you pay and a co-existence agreement will certainly offer more protection. An agreement on the coexistence of trademarks should include the following: Brands register their trademarks in order to prevent other companies from using them and create confusion or competition in the market. Sometimes, however, two companies can use a very similar brand without even knowing it.
This can occur when the two companies operate in different geographic areas or offer two totally different and unrelated services. Problems begin when this distinguishing function no longer works, because the companies for which the trademarks were originally used begin to overlap. Thus, brands that once happily co-exist, suddenly find themselves in conflict.