If you have registered the rights to a particular trademark, you can sue for trademark infringement or can use your earlier registration to oppose an application by another person to register a trademark.
Tests For Trademark Infringement
The test used to assess the merits of the claim for trademark infringement or trademark opposition, is the “likelihood of confusion” about who is the source of the goods or services among end-users. This confusion includes where there is what is called a ‘likelihood of association’. That is where customers might think that another person’s goods or service are actually yours or related to yours.
In deciding whether end-users are likely to be confused, factors such as the similarity of the marks; the similarity of the goods or services; and the end-user market will be taken into account.
When investigating the state of mind of end-users, typical considerations include evidence of actual confusion, the similarity of marketing channels used to target end-users, the degree of caution exercised by a typical end-user when they are making a purchase decision and the intent of the other party in the dispute.
If the goods or services are not similar a test will be applied to see if it takes unfair advantage of the reputation of the earlier trademark. However, it is difficult to pinpoint a difference in how the merits of such a claim for will be assessed.