Is it possible for legal action to be taken in the UK, for example if the word
has been trademarked, and then someone else starts up a company called
Even if the two companies do completely unrelated things?
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If you use an identical or similar trade mark for identical or similar goods and services to a registered trade mark - you may be infringing the registered mark if your use creates a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public. This includes the case where because of the similarities between the marks the public are led to the mistaken belief that the trade marks, although different, identify the goods or services of one and the same trader.
Where the registered mark has a significant reputation, infringement may also arise from the use of the same or a similar mark which, although not causing confusion, damages or takes unfair advantage of the reputation of the registered mark. This can occasionally arise from the use of the same or similar mark for goods or services which are dissimilar to those covered by the registration of the registered mark.
If FormatA Diagnostic's products are not "identical or similar goods and services to a registered trade mark" then at first blush there is no infringement. Even if they are "identical or similar goods" then there must be "a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public"; for example, if FormatA Diagnostics does not use its name to market the goods and services then there is probably not "a likelihood of confusion".
In addition, if FormatA has "has a significant reputation" (and we are talking Coca-Cola, Pepsi type levels of reputation) then if FormatA Diagnostics taks advantage of this they are breaching the Trade Mark.