The risks of personal branding

By Ranee van der Straaten

Recent changes to EU trademark law have made it easier to take action against infringing trade names. But how should companies approach situations in which the alleged infringer is an individual trading under his or her own name?

Your personal name has been yours since birth and will be yours for the rest of your life. Unsurprisingly, you feel entitled to use it as you please. However, using your name as your company name or product brand can have serious legal consequences. Your personal name might be similar or identical to someone else’s trademark and using it in the course of trade might thus amount to trademark infringement.

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Issue 73