The word is "maxim" they have used it for about 14 years we have used it for about 12 years but they only registered it in about 2006 which is about 7 years after we have been using it
it is used by both companies making contact lenses
Why has this only cropped up now?
Has the letter come from solicitors or from them?
What is the substance of the threat?
Do you operate in the same area or have any customers the same?
Does your letterhead or website in any way resemble theirs?
Can we have the full background detail please?
Are they a lot bigger than you or are both your company is thesame size?
Do you have evidence of having used this name for 10 years?
Yes they are a big American corporation worth in the billions
Yes we have evidence of using the name's
There are several issues here which include:
The trading name.
Their net worth.
They cannot register a trade mark of a trading name already usedby someone else and expect the law to uphold them using it particularly, if youhave already been using it for many years prior to that.
I think if they went to court on this, ultimately (I emphasise theword "ultimately") they would lose.
Unfortunately, if they are worth that amount of money, and theydecide to take you to court, even though ultimately, you might win by virtue ofthe fact you have been trading for years, it could be an expensive exercise toget there. I would check your business insurance to see if you have legalexpenses cover that would pay for any litigation.
There is the issue of passing off your business is theirs andwhether your trading style is so close to their trading style that the averageman in the street would be confused. That is nothing to do with the Trade Markand to be honest, it is also nothing to do with the fact that you have now beentrading for 10 years and they have been trading for 12 years so in that respect,you are not on good ground unless they have manipulated their trading style tomake it like yours so that they could then remove you from the market inpassing off action. That would come down to historic evidence.
It really comes down to how important the use of these names is toyou.
If it is not that important, I would get a solicitor to write tothem telling them that you agree to stop using it without making any admissionthat you are in any way liable for anything. At this stage in time, I wouldn'tbe giving any of the information they have asked for because at this stage intime, they are not entitled to it. I would then see what happens.
If it is important, you could have an expensive legal battle whichultimately you might win and if you do win you would get your costs back fromthem but it could be expensive to get there
Does that answer the question?
I am happy to answer any specific questions that you may have
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