Finding out your desired trademark is already taken by someone else can be discouraging, but you still have options.
The problem with the existence of an identical/similar already registered trademark lies in the owner's legal right to oppose your application. The intellectual property office can then refuse your registration on the grounds of similarity between the two marks to prevent potential consumer confusion in the market. To minimize the risk of this happening, you can change the mark's similar element(s) before applying.
If rebranding is not a valid option, you may choose to take the risk and proceed with the application. In general, oppositions are raised in 5% of all cases, and if they do, you can hire a representative to represent you in the opposition proceedings. The outcome is not guaranteed, but some of the steps commonly taken here include the following:
- limiting the selection of goods and services (which you can also do preemptively),
- signing a co-existence agreement,
- challenging the opposition.
You can read more about these options in our article What happens if someone opposes my trademark application?