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There is always a risk in concluding a brand co-existence agreement. Perhaps in the future you would like to expand into new territories and markets and you will find limited by an agreement that you signed many years ago. A co-existence agreement may also restrict your right to transfer your trademark or your ability to enforce it. Finally, if the other company produces poor quality products or offers insufficient service, your own reputation could suffer. Co-existence agreements work in the same way as approval agreements in relation to the weight they have given to the USPTO. The more detailed and restrictive the agreement, the more likely it is that the USPTO will maintain its validity and authorize the simultaneous use of trademarks. However, customer confusion can still invalidate an otherwise legitimate agreement, particularly in areas closely related to the public interest, such as public health.B. In addition to the USPTO`s assessment of co-existence agreements, it is likely that the courts will enter into a co-existence agreement that would have negative effects on competition in the market or be contrary to antitrust rules. Despite the co-existence agreement, costly disputes were not avoided in this case.

As with all agreements, it is therefore desirable to include a dispute resolution clause in the event of future problems. THE WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Centre provides some useful examples of these clauses3. Among the potential benefits of a co-existence agreement are: foreign language agreements must be translated into Chinese. If the document is established abroad, it must be authenticated and legalized by a notary. If there is no translation or certification or legalization, the validity of the contract is not recognized. If the products designated by both parties fall within the same sub-category of the classification of similar products and services, but the degree of kinship between these products is low and the marks of both parties are, to some extent, similar, but can nevertheless be distinguished from consumers as a whole, coexistence may be permitted. On the contrary, if the designated products of the two parties are identical or very similar and the marks of both parties are equal or very similar, it is likely that the coexistence will be refused, as consumers will find it difficult to distinguish between the two brands. If the trademark of the rejection is verified before the TRAB, the document must be filed within three months of the filing date. An additional period of time of a few months is possible if authorized by the examiner by the communication. If it is not possible to submit them to the TRAB, the applicant may submit them to the court as part of the subsequent administrative process. The general standard for the adoption of co-existence agreements is that the higher the degree of similarity between the brands and the designated goods, the less likely it is to accept the co-existence agreement. On the other hand, the lower the degree of similarity between the brands and the designated products, the more likely it is that the co-existence agreement will be accepted.