Tackling trademark trolls


Sharon Daboul

Tackling trademark trolls

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Trademark trolls are no longer exclusively a big brand problem, but what can small and medium-sized enterprises do to combat the risks? Sharon Daboul, attorney at law firm EIP, has some practical suggestions.

Trademark ‘trolls’ are companies or individuals that register a trademark without any intention of trading under it. The main aim of filing an application is to use the resulting trademark as leverage to gain money from the companies whose marks have been registered.

Trademark trolls entered the news again recently as a US-based company called 47 / 72 Inc filed more than 60 trademark applications that appear to target well-known brands. The earliest application was filed on February 26 and the most recent on May 21. All applications were pending examination at the time of writing.

47 / 72 has been accused of being a trademark troll, the argument being that it cannot possibly intend to use all the marks it has applied for, the majority of which cover online retail store services.

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