A trademark is an owned symbol or sign that marks your business or product and distinguishes it from all others. A trademark can be an identifier on your product packaging or storefront or on your company’s letterhead. The purpose of a trademark is to indicate an exclusive identity. If you have worked hard to build a name for your company or product and have registered your trademark, and then find that somebody else is using your brand in a way that has negative consequences for you, it may be time for you to hire a trademark attorney to pursue a trademark infringement lawsuit on your behalf. Likewise if you receive a cease and desist letter warning that you are infringing on somebody else’s registered trademark, a trademark lawyer will be able to advise you of the best actions you can take in response or in your own defense.
Trademark infringement takes place when somebody else uses a trademark, or a proximate version of a trademark, in a way that confuses the average consumer and has the potential to harm a brand or recognition of a brand. If you have a trademark on your business, products or services and find that it is being used in an unauthorized way, a trademark attorney can not only force the other party to stop using your trademark, but also can seek monetary damages on your behalf. If you have established a brand and then receive notification that you are infringing upon somebody else’s trademark a trademark attorney can provide you with advice on how to proceed.
Determining whether or not to pursue trademark litigation does require some careful analysis. If you find that another entity is using your trademarked name for its product or services, you need to ask whether you’re actually losing customers and profits as a result of their use. If they are in a completely different industry or market then it may not be worth the expense to proceed with an expensive lawsuit. If, however, you feel that your brand is being harmed or that the reputation of the other company is somehow having a negative impact on your own then you may wish to start off with a cease and desist letter threatening legal action if they don’t stop using your registered trademark. Failure on their part may require filing an infringement lawsuit in which the courts grant you a preliminary or temporary injunction ordering the other to stop using your trademark until a lawsuit is decided. Doing this forces the other company to stop using your brand, and usually means that they will be more likely to proceed with a settlement of the issue outside of court. This is usually a much less expensive way to resolve a trademark infringement issue. If your business has received a cease and desist letter, a trademark lawyer can tell you what your available options are. These may include complying and removing all infringing material or defending your use. There are a number of defenses that exist, including fair use, legitimacy of your business without confusion to consumers, and questioning the legitimacy of the trademark registration itself.
In issues of trademark infringement, no matter what side of the issue you’re on, consulting with an experienced trademark attorney is the best way to understand your rights and options. The law firm of Bochetto & Lentz has successfully assisted clients in both pursuing and defending against claims of trademark infringement.
Learn more about Copyright and Trademark Infringement here: