A critical analysis of trademark vigilance under ANNEX III of the revised Bangui agreement
Author(s): DASHACO AKURIAN Nelson
Abstract: Trademarks are business tools that are used to effectively communicate the goods or services of a producer from the goods or services of other competitors in the marketplace. If used in an efficient manner by the mark owner it can even guarantee high quality and goodwill to the products and that mark. Trademark laws have always imposed to mark owners an obligation to be very vigilant in order to properly exploit their rights in the mark and police the mark to avoid infringement. Lack of vigilance on the part the trademark owner can create forceful cohabitation which is very bad for brand reputation and may lead to likelihood of confusion affecting the public interest. The recent revision of the Bangui Agreement on December 14, 2015 in Bamako Mali has drastically reduced the period of opposition from six months to sixty days, making it extremely burdensome for marks owners to properly oppose any similar or identical mark at the Organization. With the coming of the internet and the limited amount of time to oppose trademarks at the Organization, consumers are faced with goods which might be fake, or they may be purchasing goods thinking it emanates from their usual manufacturer. This also affects trademark owners who may suffer loss of brand reputation due to forceful cohabitation and the sale of counterfeit products similar or identical to theirs. This study seeks to examine the consequences of trademark negligence, forceful cohabitation and how mark owners prevent their marks from being infringed.