Trade Mark Use

Bishop IP Investigations investigates the use of trade marks registered anywhere in the world. In addition to determining whether registered marks are in use, we also conduct common law searches and investigate the use of unregistered marks by specific entities.

We provide evidence of whether a particular mark has been used within a relevant period. Our clients may then challenge its validity. If the mark is intended for a new brand, our client will be in a position to decide whether any current or previous use is a threat to their plans.

We search worldwide databases, discreetly interview people, visit sites and make product purchases. Much of our work is in the more challenging jurisdictions of Eastern Europe and Asia. Many Bishop IP employees are native speakers of European and Asian languages, including Russian and Chinese.

Bishop IP’s trade mark use services are provided on a fixed-fee basis.

Case studies

A financial services group undertook a complete re-branding of its business. We investigated the worldwide use of registered marks and unregistered names (including corporate and domain names) both identical and similar to the proposed change. We then undertook the acquisition of those marks and names that might have created problems for our client in the launch of its new brand.

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A famous European fashion brand discovered that an individual in China had applied to register a mark similar to the well-known brand. Bishop IP’s investigation found that the individual was the owner of a large Chinese company manufacturing goods that infringed our client’s trade marks as well as those of other Western brands. Bishop IP’s evidence enabled our client to successfully oppose the trade mark application in China.

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An international drinks brand suspected that, contrary to undertakings given in a previous court case, a chain of bars was substituting its own brand for the international one without telling customers. Bishop IP’s investigation demonstrated that the suspicions were correct. The witness statements of three Bishop IP investigators were challenged in the High Court in London, but the judge in the case described our evidence as “unshakeable.”