Resolving Trademark Enforcement Challenges
Inventors and business people can encounter trouble over trademark infringement from either side of the coin and may need legal help. A trademark holder might need a lawyer to take legal action after learning that someone else has begun using their trademark. Or, someone may be accused of using someone else’s trademark. In either situation, the problem should not be ignored. Getting prompt legal counsel can make the difference between preserving or losing the special power of a trademark.
At the Law Office of Kattina V. Barsik, Esq., LLM, we provide our intellectual property (IP) clients with the information and assistance that they are looking for regarding trademark protection. To schedule a consultation with us, call 973-559-5355 or send an email message.
Definitions And Examples Of Cases
Trademark infringement means the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark. It can also mean the marketing of goods and/or services in ways that are likely to cause confusion or deception about the origin of those goods or services.
For example, the words making up the name of an organization, when reduced to an acronym, may be identical to the common acronym for a very different yet very recognizable and popular business. The well-known business, in this case, may bring a lawsuit or complaint against the less well-known entity or the newest one to use the trademark.
When Someone Is Sued For Trademark Infringement Or Needs To Bring A Lawsuit
A trademark owner who believes that their mark is being infringed upon may file a lawsuit against the alleged infringer. If the trademark owner is able to prove infringement, available remedies may include the following:
- A court order (injunction) demanding that the defendant stop a mark that is allegedly infringing on another
- An order to surrender or destroy the offending articles bearing a violated trademark
- Monetary compensation for losses and expenses of the wronged party
Winning is not guaranteed for the plaintiff, even with evidence. Working with an effective and knowledgeable IP attorney may make a difference.
Avoid Infringing On A Trademark
If you are a product developer and want to prevent trademark infringement, be sure that the following points are true of the trademarks that you put into the marketplace:
- You own the trademark or service mark, and it is valid.
- It has senior (usually older) use.
- It creates little or no confusion in the minds of consumers.
If a case goes to court, both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence to support their sides of the story. A jury and/or judge will consider how similar the trademarks and service marks are and how likely it is that consumers would be confused. They may also look into the details of how marketing is conducted and who the target audience of each marketing pitch that includes the trademark in question is.
Litigation At The Trademark Trial And Appeal Board
Trademarks have the option to obtain federal registration through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To challenge federal trademark ownership rights, one avenue is via the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) at the USPTO. The TTAB offers two types of adversarial proceedings: oppositions and cancellation proceedings. An opposition proceeding arises when someone contends that a trademark should not be allowed for registration on the Federal Register. Conversely, a cancellation proceeding is a formal process that can lead to the removal of a trademark from the Federal Register due to valid reasons that warrant the cancellation of the registered trademark.
The repercussions of TTAB proceedings can be significant for trademark holders, potentially resulting in the loss of a trademark registration and its associated protection. Given the stakes involved with valuable trademark assets, it’s crucial to approach TTAB proceedings with utmost seriousness. At the Law Office of Kattina V. Barsik, Esq., LLM, we are ready to vigorously advocate for your interests before the TTAB. Allow us to be a shield for your federal trademark registration.