In Denmark, a trademark right may either be established by registration or simply through its commercial use.
It should be noted that non-registration of a trademark involves a larger risk of other trademark proprietors taking action against the unregistered trademark. The potential damaging effect of this will increase with the time period the unregistered trademark has been in use: wasted marketing efforts, loss of goodwill, reprints of letterheads, brochures, labels etc.
In addition, there is a risk of not being able to use the unregistered trademark for new goods and services when expanding the product range. This may be the case if others in the meantime have started using similar trademarks or even had their trademarks registered.
In Denmark, the proprietor of a registered trademark must actively use the trademark within a period of 5 years.
If it can be documented that the registered trademark has not been in use for longer than 5 years the courts or the Danish Patent and Trademark Office can, on request, remove the registration either completely or partly. Thus, unused trademarks cannot prevent their use by others, or the registration of similar trademarks.
When having achieved, or having applied for, the registration of a trademark our clients obviously wish to indicate this on their brochures, products, or wrappings. In this context it is critical to comply with national regulations and to avoid the dissemination of misleading information. Typically, a registered trademark is indicated by ®, whereas TM represents a trademark at the application stage. If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask for our professional advice.
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