When can a trademark be used without the risk of it being copied?
It is a good rule, when we are looking for a new mark, before investing on the name, to verify the strength of the name. To do this we must make a search on prior marks, comparing the found mark to others identical and similar, in order to ascertain that there will be no risk of confusion with pre-existing ones.
This is a very important search, commercially, to be sure of launching on the market a strong mark of sound value, but also legally, as we can remain assured that there will be no possible pretences made by previous trademark owners. If the results of the search are negative, in order to avoid others copying us, the trademark application must be filed, specifying the classes and describing the wording part of the mark and the likely graphic.
Once this has been done, it is possible to put, next to the mark, the initials “TM”, which refers to a deposited mark but not yet registered, and it can be used without risks as action can be taken against possible infringers. Normally, in Italy, the actual granting of the mark comes after about 2 years, but during this time the protection is already guaranteed and we can oppose whoever copies us.