West Palm Beach Trademark Litigation Attorney
The West Palm Beach trademark litigation attorneys at the law offices of Pike & Lustig, LLP represent clients prosecuting and/or defending their trademarks in pre-suit litigation and in litigation in the federal courts covering Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties. There are currently over 2,000 trademark cases active in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Well over 150 cases were filed in the first half of 2014 alone. In this climate where companies vigorously enforce and protect their intellectual property rights in the courts, it is important to seek advice and representation from attorneys with excellent courtroom skills and a thorough understanding of trademark law.
The Basics of Trademark Law and Trademark Infringement
Branding is an essential component of many successful companies and corporations. By creating an easily recognizable logo or phrase, customers can quickly identify that company from hundreds of others that are similar in countless other ways. Trademarks are words, symbols, phrases, designs, or the compilation of one or the three, and are protected by law (Lanham Act 15 U.S. Code 1051). Trademarks are used to brand and identify the products of a particular company, and cannot be used by another party without permission (they may be used in the case of a franchise or for non-monetary purposes). Similar to a trademark, a service mark represents the services offered by a company, though trademark is usually used in place of the term “service mark.” Trademarks can remain in place for an unlimited number of 10 year increments. The owner must file the legal paperwork in a timely fashion for renewal, as well as a declaration of use between the fifth and six years after registration, as well as a declaration of use and application for renewal between the ninth and 10th year, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Trademark infringement, as noted above, occurs frequently in the U.S. and the state of Florida. In order for a successful claim, the plaintiff must be able to prove that its mark is valid, is senior (older) than the defendants, and that the defendant’s mark will likely cause confusion to the average consumer in regard to the two companies’ goods and services. The court will determine if there is grounds for confusion among consumers and whether or not the two companies’ services or goods are closely related.
Relatedness of Goods and Services
One of the key areas concerning trademark infringement is the relatedness of the goods or services provided by the two parties. If the two parties operate and sell in separate arenas, for example if one sells car tires and the other is an amusement park, the grounds for a lawsuit are substantially decreased. However, the plaintiff may argue that their mark is in threat of dilution, meaning that their well-known mark’s value will be diminished because of the other similar mark–that the other party’s mark will decrease the distinctiveness of the original mark or hurt its reputation due to being related to something that is unsightly or vulgar. When creating a trademark, it is vital for a person or company to do a trademark search on the USPTO’s website. Failing to do this can not only result in a future lawsuit, but also a weak trademark (a mark that can strongly be protected from third party use).
Trademark Attorneys for Today’s Technological Environment
The rapid growth of Internet marketing and technology has created a complex and constantly shifting landscape in the field of trademark law, as courts struggle to apply the law to ever-newer and more novel applications of advertising and marketing tools. Our West Palm Beach trademark litigation attorneys are knowledgeable in the areas of Google Ad-Words, advertising, branding, trademark and trade dress fields, all of which may include infringement of your trademark.
The trademark attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP are ready to prosecute and defend litigation in Federal and State courts throughout the United States, including, but not limited to, representing our business clients in pursuing or defending against requests for temporary restraining orders and preliminary and mandatory injunctive relief proceedings. We have also represented businesses and law firms throughout the State of Florida in rights of publicity and misappropriation of trade-name and image in advertising and branding disputes.
Advanced Education and Training in the Resolution of Trademark Disputes
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we take our clients’ trademark interests very seriously. Firm partner Daniel Lustig holds an L.L.M. (Master of Laws) degree in Intellectual Property law and applies this advanced knowledge in the resolution of trademark disputes. We place our clients’ interests first, and this includes detailing a litigation strategy that is both goal-oriented and financially acceptable for our clients. Our West Palm Beach trademark attorneys have a combined sixteen years of legal practice with some of Florida’s largest firms. Therefore, we offer our clients sophisticated litigation services at competitive rates. Call our office at 561-291-8298 for sound advice and professional representation in the resolution of your trademark dispute.