In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to seek the consent of a current registered trade mark owner to be able to “co-exist” on the IP Australia trade mark register.
Ordinarily, this is a last-resort after potentially being able to overcome any trade mark objections with either submissions and/or evidence of prior use, or sometimes honest and concurrent use, depending on the circumstances.
It’s a very delicate matter and most often one that needs to be carefully considered, before approaching another trade mark owner for consent for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it puts them on notice that your business exists and is out there competing. It also tells them that you’re trying to register a trade mark, which they can oppose if they want to.
Also it means that they can potentially try and stop you from using the trade mark, or worse in limited circumstances – stop trading altogether.
If you’ve received a letter seeking consent, it’s best to get legal advice about the implications and whether or not to provide the consent.
At the end of the day, you can’t ordinarily force someone else to consent to your trade mark registration.
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