Trademark Infringement

We regularly confront and stop companies and individuals from infringing on client trademarks, and protect clients from shakedowns involving weak accusations of trademark infringement.

What is trademark infringement? And what happens if you prove trademark infringement—or it is proven against you?

What is Trademark infringement?

Trademark infringement occurs when someone uses your trademark—such as a brand name, logo, or slogan—in a way that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of a good or service. In simpler terms, it involves another party’s unauthorized use of your trademark that is similar or identical to your trademark in connection with goods or services.

To better recognize and understand trademark infringement, it’s essential to know a few key concepts:

Trademark Ownership: Trademarks are symbols, names, or designs that distinguish the goods or services of one party from those of others. Trademark owners have exclusive rights to use their marks in connection with specific goods or services.

Likelihood of Confusion: An important factor in trademark infringement is whether someone is using a trademark that causes a likelihood of confusion. If the unauthorized use of a mark is likely to confuse consumers about the source of the goods or services, it may be considered infringement.

Similarity of Marks: The similarity between the registered trademark and the allegedly infringing mark is an important factor, too. This includes similarities in appearance, sound, meaning, or overall commercial impression.

Goods and Services: Trademarks are registered for specific classes of goods or services. Infringement may occur if the unauthorized use is in connection with similar or related goods or services.

Consumer Perception: Courts often consider how consumers are likely to perceive the marks in question. If consumers are likely to be confused about the origin of the goods or services, it strengthens the case for infringement.

Relief for Trademark Infringement

  • Injunctions (orders) preventing others from using the trademark.
  • Money damages for lost business.
  • Taking (“disgorging”) the infringer’s profits from improperly using a trademark.
  • Attorney’s fees.

It is critical to remember that if you fail to vigilantly protect your trademark, your trademark rights may weaken or even vanish.

One of the key fights early in a trademark infringement case involves seeking, or opposing, a preliminary injunction. In a trademarks case, a preliminary injunction is an early order in the case that prohibits or restricts the use of the trademark until resolution of the case. This fight often occurs in the first month or two of the case, and the outcome can have lasting effects both in the case and on the parties. To win this fight, it is critical that your attorney has an immediate understanding of the trademark and facts surrounding use of it.

Cronkhite Counsel is here to serve. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.

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