Is Someone Infringing on Your Trademark?
When you started your business, you likely put time and energy into carefully designing your logo and brand. You then went through the process to trademark your brand set out by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) so that no one else could use it or try to copy it. One day, you some across another business that is using your logo–or one that looks shockingly similar–and you are immediately angry and want them to stop using the logo that you worked so hard to protect. Your first call in this situation should be to an experienced business litigation attorney to determine your legal options and rights.
Was It Legal Infringement?
While you may assume that any use of your protected logo constitutes unlawful trademark infringement, this is not actually the case. Instead, there are additional requirements for the use of a logo to be considered infringement, which include the following:
- Whether the use of the trademark would confuse consumers;
- Whether the trademark was used in connection with services or goods that directly compete with your services or goods and may affect your sales;
- Whether the trademark was used on noticeably related goods, even if you do not directly compete with the company, or in the same geographical area;
- If your mark is well-known, the use of the trademark by a lesser-known company will dilute its distinctiveness or tarnish your reputation for quality associated with the mark; or
- You are actively using the trademark and it is associated with goods or services
What Can You Do If Infringement Occurs?
In most cases, the first step an attorney will take to try to stop trademark infringement is to send a cease and desist letter ordering the party to stop wrongfully using your mark. If that does not work, you may need to file a claim in civil court against the party to request an injunction, which is a court order for them to stop using your trademark. In your claim, you can also seek damages both for any money you believe you lost as a result of their use of the mark and any money they wrongfully made through use of the mark. In many cases, once a lawsuit is filed, the opposing party will stop using the trademark and will come to a settlement agreement. In other cases, you must prove the infringement and your damages at trial.
Contact a West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney Today
Whether you are trying to obtain a trademark or believe that someone has infringed upon an existing trademark, the experienced business litigation lawyers at the law firm of Pike & Lustig, LLP in West Palm Beach are here to assist you. Our team of attorneys is committed to helping business owners protect their intellectual property and enforce IP ownership rights. Trademark law can be complicated and confusing, so it is imperative to have a lawyer handling your case who understands how to best represent your rights and interests with regard to your trademark. Please contact us to discuss your situation at 561-291-8298.