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What Is A Coexistence Agreement

The purpose of a brand co-existence agreement is that brands are often used in ”good faith” by several companies. The lack of formal agreement does not affect a company that uses the brand, as it is present in different regions of the world. However, with business growth, overlaps can develop and both parties may have significant rights to the use of the trademark. In some cases, companies that extend and use the same brand or similar brand generally enter into a co-existence agreement to avoid the use of the trademark in an undesirable or hurtful manner. Co-existence agreements can provide practical solutions to companies that are concerned about being sued for trademark infringement, as proactive agreements can avoid the high cost of litigation. [1] Most co-existence agreements are company names and trademarks, so that people with the same or the same name, or whose companies do, can carry out their daily business without worrying about being sued for disclosure or trademark infringement. Other co-existence agreements may include designs, copyrights and even patents. The process of selecting a brand should be carried out with caution and foresight, carry out as complete a search as possible, preferably with the help of a specialist. If, despite these efforts, a conflict with the same or similar brand in the market is created, then a co-existence agreement may be less costly than a legal confrontation. This is not to say that it is always better to capitulate and accept a coexistence in the face of litigation, but in some situations, litigation may be the only appropriate response.

It is up to the trademark holders to assess, in all cases, what would be appropriate given their particular circumstances. Assuming that the co-existence agreement is binding, it can sometimes be unenforceable. This can occur in the rare event where the agreement is seen as a disguised attempt to divide the market or curb trade, thereby reducing competition. When a co-existence agreement is intended to cover countries other than the United Kingdom, it can extend to countries where such agreements are treated with suspicion, if they create a degree of confusion for consumers, by allowing two different companies with similar names to continue their exchanges. In such cases, professional advice may be required.

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