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What You Need is use

Today, a new edition of Eurosonic, a showcase festival in Groningen, will start. Knijff Trademark Attorneys is present to help bands with their brand protection. The protection of the band and stage names is very important in the world of global platforms such as Spotify. Identical band names are all too common.

But assistance in maintaining a trademark is also very important. An important aspect in trademark law is the use requirement, which is due 5 years after registration (in Europe). If you invoke your trademark in, for example, an opposition, and the use requirements apply, in most cases you will have to submit proof of use. And you should not take this lightly, even if you are a world-famous band like INXS.

This band filed an opposition against the European application of INXS that was filed for, among other things, financial services. The applicant requested INXS for proof of use. INXS filed a large number of documents, including printouts of websites with information about the band, printouts of their own website, articles about the band etc.

It is important that the proof of use shows where the trademark is used, for which services the trademark is used, which trademark is used and when the trademark is used. According to the EUIPO the submitted proof of use was insufficient, this evidence only showed that the band was mainly active in the 1980s, but does not show any recent use. Now that the singer has died, any concert may remain forthcoming, but proof of album sales or online sales would have helped in demonstrating use. The collection of such a proof of use file is therefore of great importance for every brand, even for famous bands.

Arnaud Bos

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