What does "implicit protection" mean in trademark law?

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Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

Generally, implicit protection means that all of the dominant elements of your trademark are protected, but not fully. This mostly applies to those cases where an applicant files a semi-figurative (combined) mark. Such marks consist of 2 main types of elements - visual and verbal. There might be multiple visual or verbal elements together in one logo.

If someone uses one of the dominant elements of your mark, you are still protected. However, this is very case-dependent as the element must be very similar or identical to your mark and must cause confusion between the two brands. Hence implicit protection, where the level of protection depends on a concrete case.

If the copied element is generic or possesses a low level of uniqueness, you are very unlikely to stop the third party from using it.

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