In nearly every country, a trademark is published in the Trademark Gazette. The period is called the Opposition Period, which generally lasts 30-90 days.
When you order worldwide trademark watching service, we watch all the Trademark Gazettes around the world for all exact and similar brand names to yours, everywhere in the world:
--Exact matches over all class codes
--Phonetic (how it sounds) as pertains to your specific product(s)
--Spelling (how it looks) as pertains to your specific product(s)
It is generally considered impossible and impractical to (try to) protect your brand name in every country, due to usage issues and the mere matter of overwhelming costs.
However, you might find, internationally, that some countries make a business of “infringing” on well-known brand names, i.e.; they will use your brand name in an attempt to capitalize on your established trademark….they do this by registering your brand name in their country and claiming it as their own.
The failure on your part to manage these infringers will create a “likelihood of confusion” within the market place, which means that you might find your brand name already owned by others when you go to register it yourself.
The cost to file an opposition to a pending trademark is less than the cost to file a cancellation against an already registered trademark. Once the trademark is registered, it is much stronger and therefore harder to fight.
Not ALL trademark similarities are due to intentional infringers. I have seen more than one case of similar (or identical names) just due to circumstance. Your family name registered in the EU, which is identical to a brand in South Africa. Two wineries, both with legitimate claims to the identical name, but only one can occupy trademark space, in the eyes of the trademark offices. There are ways, however, to meet this challenge head on, whereby both parties can have legal rights to the same name with similar products.
Trademark Watching, the policing of your own brand, is highly recommended as an efficient and cost effective way to manage and protect your brand name worldwide, without the high cost of maintaining a registration in every country where you are currently or maybe soon to be doing business.