April 13, 2022

What Is a Coexistence Agreement


Despite the coexistence agreement, costly legal disputes could not be avoided in this case. As in all agreements, it is therefore advisable to include a dispute settlement clause if problems arise in the future. The WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center provides some useful examples of such clauses.3 A well-drafted trademark coexistence agreement will cover the entire life cycle of the goods and services associated with the brand. The coexistence agreement should take into account at least these eight conditions: in addition to restricting the use of competing marks in order to minimise the risk of confusion, other issues should be addressed in a coexistence agreement in order to avoid conflicts and disputes on the road. Problems to be solved include: Drafting a coexistence agreement requires skills and special attention to the smallest details to determine which company can use the brand and under what circumstances. The first consideration is to avoid confusion among consumers. A court may reject a trademark coexistence agreement if it considers that consumer confusion is inevitable; Failure to provide sufficient information can have devastating consequences if litigation becomes necessary. So, as you can see, trademarks are a type of property that resembles land and coexistence agreements “follow the mark,” even if the trademark is sold or transferred to a new owner. Trademark owners must protect the value of their trademarks and avoid negative long-term consequences that could negate short-term gains from a coexistence agreement. A lawyer with experience in trademarks and intellectual property is an invaluable asset in developing a strategy for trademark use agreements.

When registering a trademark, one of the essential rules is not to choose a trademark that confusingly resembles a previous existing trademark. However, in the business and commercial worlds, it is possible for two parties to use similar or identical trademarks to market their products and services through coexistence agreements. The objective of this article is to give an overview of the typical benefits and potential pitfalls of coexistence agreements. An important issue to consider before negotiating a coexistence agreement is the public interest. A court may invalidate an agreement if it considers that the coexistence of similar marks would be contrary to the public interest in a given case. This may be the case, in particular, in the field of public health, where two different medical devices bore the same brand – even if the companies operated in different geographical areas. The WIPO magazine is designed to help the public better understand ip and the work of WIPO, and is not an official WIPO document. The designations used in this publication and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of an opinion of WIPO on the legal status of any country, territory or its authorities or on the demarcation of its borders or borders. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of Member States or the WIPO Secretariat.

Mentioning certain companies or products of manufacturers does not mean that they are approved or recommended by WIPO, rather than others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. A consent agreement is a type of coexistence agreement. Trademark applicants may include a declaration of consent in the protocol of a trademark prosecution in order to obtain a registration. Often, a declaration of consent is the best option for the trademark applicant to convince the examiner that the mark that the mark it proposes does not entail a likelihood of confusion with the trademark cited against his application. It does not generally deal in depth with long-term coexistence, but restricts the rights of the party requesting consent. Unless proven otherwise, a consent agreement is considered proof that there is no likelihood of confusion. The reason for this is that the parties most affected by possible confusion among consumers claim that there will be no confusion. In trademark law, coexistence agreements are contracts in which two trademark owners agree to use their similar marks but accept restrictions. For example, both owners could agree that their respective goods or services will be offered in different geographic areas. A consent agreement is a type of coexistence agreement that is generally shorter and is mainly used by trademark applicants as part of the documents required for registration. Sometimes the USPTO examiner raises the possibility of a “puzzling similarity.” If the applicant can obtain a declaration of consent, this is considered proof that there is no likelihood of confusion.

The public interest must be taken into account when concluding a trademark coexistence agreement. This is often true in situations where two medical companies carry the same brand for unique products, as it could cause confusion and have a serious impact on consumers. Companies must also comply with antitrust regulations. Courts may conclude that similar marks may affect competition in the market. A trademark coexistence agreement should clearly include: all parties to the agreement, the trademarks or logos indicated as coexisting, an agreement on the domain names that each party uses, a list of territories and geographical areas where trademarks or logos are allowed and where coexistence is allowed and in which they are not allowed, as well as any project relevant to the expansion of the company. .

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