One does not always have to take legal action to combat a potentially dangerous opposing brand. One option is also to buy this trademark covertly via a middleman function and thus eliminate the threat potential.
The following case from practice: A German mechanical engineering company, which is very successful in China, discovered that there was an older trademark that was very similar to its own trademark and was being used by a local Chinese company. This posed a risk, as it could lead to confusion and thus damage to the company’s image. In addition, sooner or later there could have been attacks by the opposing trademark owner.
In order to avoid complicated and lengthy legal proceedings, the machine builder commissioned an external service provider to attempt to buy the opposing trademark incognito and thus eliminate the above-mentioned risks. He himself remained unrecognized. The challenge was to persuade the opponent to sell without giving him price-driving negotiating power through an offer. This was achieved by communicating to him via his network the idea of selling his brand after all. Interested parties would already be found.
With the help of this brand purchase strategy, the IP problem was elegantly solved. The service provider was able to buy the trademark in China at an acceptable price and then transfer it to his client in Germany.