A trade name or company name has the aim to identify a company. And just that. When the use surpasses this goal and distinguishes certain products or services, there is use of a trademark. From EU case law we learn that often there is use of a trademark, and in only few cases use is limited to solely a company name. Especially in case of a logo, corporate identity etc. this will be seen as trademark use.
If you have a trademark, you want to protect it. A wise thing to do is conducting an availability search. Of course, for the relevant classes. These relevant classes are not necessarily the classes with services only, for example, a trademark in class 25 can be an obstacle for a clothing shop in class 35.
Recently CORONA (a flour manufacturer) was opposed by CORONAS (wine). These products are not similar. But CORONA was also filed for services of a restaurant: preparing food and beverages. EUIPO found this service similar to wine. Similar to a low degree, however, as the trademarks resembled, confusion could not be ruled out. So, it all starts with a good search strategy!
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