Brand Invulnerability

Brand Invulnerability

Promotion of the brand is a difficult, expensive and long way to the top of its popularity, and popularity among consumers. This path begins with the creation of a trademark for a product or service, developing a design for packaging products, advertising using this brand. After the approval of the trade mark, it is very important to register it in a timely manner in a state institution for intellectual property. Otherwise, the next steps to promote such a trademark may be a waste of time and money, since such a designation may already be the object of exclusive rights of third parties, which will be shown by the so-called "patent" search, strongly recommended by us in the pre-application stage to register a trademark. If there are no obstacles to registration, the brand begins to emerge, which, say, after several years of its intensive use, becomes known and attracts the attention of consumers, experts in the field of trade and advertising, as well as competitors. The latter often have a desire to imitate the brand, so that without special temporary and financial costs, i.e. undeservedly, attract the attention of consumers to their products and, thereby, increase their incomes.

Imitation begins with the creation of a trademark or a series of trademarks similar to the already known brand, but not to the extent that the refusal to register them was obvious. Such imitation trademarks not only can cause consumers to associate with the brand already known to them and the reputation of the products labeled by them, but can quite realistically be registered as trademarks, for example, using ingenious manipulations to change certain elements of the brand: using only parts of the word with modified prefixes or endings; adding a word; the use of words that are excellent in writing and sounding, but synonymous with the brand, so that the semantic identity remains. Thus, an unfair competitor can bypass the exclusive right of the brand owner and take advantage of his reputation.

A vivid example of imitation of a well-known brand by changing its constituent words, but preserving the semantic identity, is the use by competitors of the designations "WHITE CARBOXAT" and "WHITE SORBENT" in relation to the already known trademark "WHITE CORNER", used by its right holder for goods of 05 class International classification of goods and services (ICGS) "enterosorbents".

In the alcohol business, attempts to emulate competitors' brands are even more common than in the pharmaceutical industry. In our practice, we are faced not only with the attempts of competitors to imitate certain verbal trademarks, but also graphic. One such case was the use of a modified image of a horseshoe for the "vodka" of the 33rd class of the MKTU as a competitor for the product in relation to the already well-known iconic trademark in the form of a horseshoe applied by the copyright holder to a bottle, label and vodka cork along with the trademark "KOZATSKA RADA" ", Which, by the way, was recognized by the efforts of our specialists as well-known.

So what are the well-known brands and what advantages do they give to the rightholder in comparison with the usual ones? By virtue of Art. 25 of the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of Rights to Marks for Goods and Services" and Art. 6 bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is a well-known trademark, unlike the usual one: it is protected indefinitely; the value of a well-known brand as an intangible asset is much higher; A well-known trademark may be recognized as such long before the date of submission of the relevant application to the Appeals Chamber, currently being reformed by the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine, or to a court; distributes legal protection not only in respect of goods or services for which the mark is recognized as well-known, but also in relation to other goods or services, if the use for them by other persons of the symbols imitating a well-known trademark will indicate a relationship with the right holder of such a well-known trademark and the latter is likely to be harmed by such use.

In addition to the above advantages, I would like to pay attention to the advantages of judicial protection of the rights to a well-known trademark.

According to Art. 6 bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, a violation of the rights to a well-known trademark, except, of course, direct reproduction, is also recognized: imitation, translation and use of its essential constituent. In view of the above, it is much easier to prove the similarity of the designations of other persons with well-known trademarks, as well as the possibility of misleading consumers in relation to the producer of the goods, i.e. right holder of a well-known trademark.

These benefits can and should be used not only in litigation for violation of rights, but also in the percentage