Trade Mark owners, once they receive their Certificates of Registration, are always advised to police these rights to ensure that these rights are not diluted by a third party using or attempting to register a confusingly similar trade mark.
It can be daunting if one receives a cease and desist letter from a larger firm threatening proceedings in the light of what may actually be an innocent act but is in fact use of a similar trade mark that could cause confusion.
The best way to deal with this type of situation is to contact the company or its representatives and discuss a settlement. It is in everyone’s best interest if an agreement can be concluded.
Comedian Joe Lycett took an extreme action recently by changing his name to HUGO BOSS in protest against the German Fashion brand and its enforcement of its registered trade mark rights. He was trying to highlight the costs to small businesses when larger businesses enforce trademark rights. He also highlighted the risk of potential negative PR for businesses who are legitimately enforcing their rights.