In Germany annually approximately 50,000 to 80,000 new trademarks are registered per year. In Europe the number is even higher. It is therefore becoming more and more difficult to find a gap for the registration of a new trademark.
Even after successful registration of a trademark, however, there are still risks. A dilution of a trademark can occur due to new applications for confusing trademarks by third parties and this can lead to problems for the entire trademark.
The registry offices are usually not obliged to check and reject subordinate applications for confusion with existing trademarks. If a subordinate trademark is heavily advertised and more widely known in trade than the prior trademark, this can lead to a migration of customers.
Without monitoring subordinate trademark applications, the registration of infringing trademarks will usually take some time to become known. If the competition has already gained considerable market shares, it will defend the already introduced trademark more vehemently than with a newly filed but not yet used trademark.
A quick and effective way of combating subordinate registered trademarks is the so-called "opposition procedure" with the competent trademark office. Usually a short opposition period applies. In Germany this period is only 3 months. If this period is missed, an application for cancellation or an action for cancellation must be filed with the court.
Trademark monitoring provides an early warning system regarding dangerous trademark applications. You will have enough time to decide whether to file an opposition against younger trademarks or to tolerate the trademark reported. Without trademark monitoring, you may only become aware of infringing trademarks after the expiry of the opposition period and must take action against the younger trademarks at high risk and expense.