What happens when a trademark is infringed?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2020 | intellectual property

Businesses put in time to establish their services and businesses and ensure they provide quality items to their clientele. One of the reasons they likely registered their trademark is because they wanted to distinguish themselves from the competition. However, there are situations in which another business may use a mark on their service or goods in a manner that misleads others as to the source of their products. If a business owner believes their trademark is being infringed, there are civil remedies available to them.

Available remedies

If their trademark is being infringed, business owners have legal remedies they can avail. Generally, people prefer filing their cases in federal court.

The plaintiff may be able to get a court order, known as an injunction, to prevent someone else from using their trademark. It is possible to get an order requiring the infringing products be destroyed. Monetary relief can also be an option, in addition to an order requiring the plaintiff’s attorney fees be paid.

How can trademark infringement be proven?

The plaintiff must show that it owns the trademark in question, that its rights are prior to the defendant’s, and that the defendant’s mark will likely confuse consumer’s about the source of the products.

The court looks at a number of factors to determine whether consumers will be confused or not. The court will consider the similarity between the relevant marks and also if the products and services being offered by both parties. Courts also look at where and how advertisement is being carried out and sold and if there is evidence about the confusion being caused to consumers.

There are also other remedies available, such as one claiming the mark’s uniqueness is being blurred or distinctiveness is being diminished by the other party’s use of it. It can be frustrating when one’s hard work is being affected by another’s actions, but an experienced intellectual law attorney can help injured parties effectively avail the legal options available to them.