ICE trade mark dispute: a chilling reminder to monitor trade mark registers and act against problem trade mark applications!
We take a look at the background and the judgment in the recent ICE trade mark dispute.
The benefits of registering your trade mark are many – most importantly you can stop someone else using a trade mark too close to your own on competing products – but although trade marks have been around for well over a century, new advantages continue to emerge with new technologies and the growth of eCommerce. One such benefit is the ability to obtain a Verified Mark Certificate for a logo registered as a trade mark.
We all know that trading online is both an opportunity and a challenge. Just as online platforms provide you with the opportunity to reach many more customers, they can also be abused by fraudsters, who may masquerade as genuine traders and take advantage of your reputation, for example by sending emails purporting to be from an established and trusted company.
A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is a digital certificate issued by a trusted entity that can be included in email communications from brand owners. It allows the brand owner’s logo to appear in the recipient’s inbox alongside the message subject, if the recipient’s email provider supports VMCs. Currently, Gmail (with over 1.8 billion active users) supports VMCs, with more providers expected to follow. This helps to prevent phishing scams and will also allow you to increase the recognition, trust and prestige of your logo among customers. By displaying your logo in recipients’ inboxes, VMCs can help your emails stand out from others in a crowded inbox.
VMCs are available to purchase from the certificate authorities DigiCert or Entrust. You will need to comply with certain technical standards, but most importantly, your logo will need to be registered as a trade mark with a qualifying national/regional Intellectual Property Office before you can get a certificate. The UK Intellectual Property Office is a qualifying Intellectual Property Office.
Our expert trade mark attorneys can assist you to obtain a registration of your logo from a qualifying Intellectual Property Office as quickly as possible, so that you can apply for a VMC. If you need assistance registering a logo, please contact one of our attorneys.