What to do if You’ve Experienced Trademark Infringement
As a business owner, one of the first things you need to do to protect your brand is to register the trademark. Whether it’s for your company name or a product or service, your trademark is what lets your clients know that you stand behind it. You want to avoid any confusion and make sure that you are the only company within your competitive space that uses that particular name. So, what can you do if you’ve experienced trademark infringement?
Responsible business owners register trademarks, a process that includes a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that a name is available. Once you have your own trademark, it is yours for ten years, and you are then free to renew it every ten years for as long as you want to keep it. If you learn that another company is using your trademark, the first question you need answered is whether they are a competitor or not. If they are in a completely different type of business and there is no risk of confusion between your companies, you may not be able to prove that their use of your name would confuse customers. But if that isn’t the case, your first step should be to contact a trademark infringement attorney, who will likely start protecting you and your business by sending a cease and desist letter on your behalf.
A cease and desist letter demands that the other company stops using your trademark. In most cases, this will be enough to put the issue to rest, but if the other company refuses, your next step would be to file a lawsuit in federal court, where a judge will determine whether there is a “likelihood of confusion.”
Filing a trademark infringement lawsuit will not only right the injustice that has been done to your business, but will likely provide you with monetary damages from the person or company behind the trademark infringement if you can show either that the company behind the infringement made money by using your trademark, or that you lost money as a result of their use of your trademark.
If you have been the victim of trademark infringement and you need information on how to resolve the situation, contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.