All EU trade marks registered before 31 December 2020 were cloned onto the UK trade mark register on 1 January 2021. While these ‘cloned marks’ are not vulnerable to revocation for several years, the separation of UK rights from EU rights has created an opportunity. In some circumstances companies can now obtain not just a mark, but its priority and seniority dates too. Many of the cloned marks will never have been used in the UK – they may be from a French or German company, for example, which has traded only in mainland Europe. These newly cloned UK marks may therefore be surplus to requirements for those registrants and available for purchase for a modest amount.
Eccora is in a position to assist companies acquire the cloned marks, regardless of where the registrant is based. Our third-party acquisitions, with the purchase done by a small unknown company, can reduce purchase costs significantly. Using a third party also ensures a level of commercial secrecy, allowing for the safeguarding of marketing plans and brand protection in advance of product and brand launches.
As part of our end-to-end service, we will discreetly approach the holder through one of our trading entities and negotiate to secure the asset at the best possible price and using a secure payment process. We work with your IP attorneys to ensure the transfer paperwork is done to the standard you need.
In most cases we advise undertaking a brief in-use search to identify if a mark has been used in the UK, prior to making the approach. We are able to provide a discounted service for undertaking both a slimmed-down in-use investigation and an acquisition.
Eccora has been assisting clients in acquiring used and unused trade marks, domains, patents and company names since its inception, and our staff have an even longer pedigree in successfully negotiating the acquisition of IP rights.
Note for IP professionals: the acquisition process can also be used to acquire marks that can provide prior rights for a client’s challenged mark, negating opposition or cancellation proceedings.