A Trade Mark registration gives its holder the exclusive right to use the Trade Mark in relation to the goods and/or services for which it is registered in the territory where the Trade Mark is registered.
It is not possible for the owner of an unregistered Trade Mark to bring infringement proceedings.
A Trade Mark registration allows its holder to prevent the unauthorised use of:-
An identical sign in relation to identical goods.
An identical sign in relation to similar goods/services where use would give rise to a likelihood of confusion (including a likelihood of association).
A similar sign in relation to identical and/or similar goods/services where use would give rise to a likelihood of confusion (including a likelihood of association).
An identical and/or similar sign in relation to similar and/or dissimilar goods/services where use would, without due cause, take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or reputation of the Trade Mark.
The above grounds of infringement are similar to those that form the basis of an opposition to the registration of a Trade Mark
A European Union Trade Mark registration is enforceable throughout the European Union. In some cases, it may be possible for a court in one Member State to grant an order prohibiting use of the offending sign in other Member States.
In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the holders of both registered and unregistered signs can seek protection under the Common law tort of Passing off. Passing off can be relied on if:
A misrepresentation has been made in course of trade by another person to customers or prospective customers of the aggrieved party.
The misrepresentation is calculated to injure the goodwill/reputation that has been built up under the aggrieved party’s name in respect of the goods/services supplied by him.
The misrepresentation is such that it has damaged, or is likely to damage, the goodwill/reputation that the aggrieved party enjoys under his name.