Wednesday 21 May 2008

Securitisation and coexistence agreements

Just a quick thought: at the INTA session on dormant trade marks the question arose as to whether a business seeking to roll out a new brand across Europe should enter into coexistence agreements with the owners of earlier rights that might be raised in support of grounds of opposition when applications are made to register the trade marks relatng to that brand.

My feeling is that a registration that is underpinned by such agreements, which may be unenforceable and/or unrecognised in some jurisdictions would be a far less attractive security than a registration where no earlier rights still posed a threat. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. You're right that such agreements would make a security less desirable.

    But if the comparison is between having an "unencumbered" security that invites later litigation once the new firm is successful and an encumbered security that effectively heads off such litigation, then I believe that coexistence agreements make plenty of sense.

    There's an analog to this problem in patent law: if intermediaries could go around either buying up or licensing patents to entire technical fields PRIOR TO commercialization, there would be much less patent litigation.