Avoid committing infringement yourself
Stay up to date on which exclusive rights already exist in your industry. This is necessary so that you yourself do not accidentally infringe.
It is important that you comply with the laws and regulations that apply in the country where you promote your services.
Search in databases
PRV has several databases where you can search for registered rights. In-depth search analysis is often needed to ensure that there is no infringement into international markets. Several actors in the market offer services, where you can get professional help with monitoring, industry and competitor analysis. PRV also offers such a service, PRV consulting services, that you can hire against payment.
A consequence of the unitary patent system is that you also should monitor European patents with unitary effect. They are all valid in Sweden and searchable in the Swedish Patent Database, but the European Patent Office (EPO) is the authority keeping record of them (in the UP Register) and providing further information.
What happens if I commit infringement?
If you have infringed, it does not necessarily mean that it is punishable or that you will have to pay damages. It depends on whether you have done it with intent, negligence or by gross negligence. In order for someone to be convicted, there must be gross negligence.
Did you receive a warning letter?
If you have received a written warning letter that you have infringed someone's exclusive rights, you should take it seriously. The letter acts as a security for the person who has exclusive right and who through the letter has informed you that the right exists and is owned by someone else.
If you have infringed and still wish to continue your business, you can try to agree with the right-holder that you may use the exclusive right, for example in the form of a license agreement.
It is often possible to reach a satisfactory settlement where both companies can continue operating as planned. In order to achieve this, you must exchange written communication which is both legal in nature and carefully considered from a strategic perspective. If you receive a cease and desist letter, you should therefore always contact a legal expert for support and help. Do not reply until you have obtained advice, as that may make the situation worse.
For trademarks, there are sometimes coexistence agreements, in which the parties agree not to disturb each other.
Example: Company A will only use the brand for marketing in Germany, Company B only for marketing in Sweden.