Trademark Infringement: An Overview

by Rex Stevenson

Trademark infringement occurs when the trademark rights are violated by a certain person, who can be accused and sued afterwards of trademark infringement.

A trademark which is similar or perplexingly the same as your trademark in connection with the goods or services you are promoting then an “infringement” occurs. Any federal registered trademark may be safeguarded under the Lanham or Trademark Act. The Lanham Act is a law encompassing the federal ruling on trademark law in the United States. The said act forbids actions which include dilution of trademark, bogus advertising, and trademark infringement.

A trademark infringement is possible, if you will be able to prove that there is a “possibility of confusion” between your trademark and the purportedly infringing mark. Such possibility of confusion will be determined through a “trademark analysis,” wherein the following items will be analyzed:

1. The design or pattern of the mark, both on inside and outside 2. The representation of your mark and eventual meanings 3. The pronunciation used with that mark will be analyzed and discussed 4. The connection between your services or products and the ones represented by the infringing mark 5. Testing the public opinion and the effect it leaves on the clients

The most popular punishment used in these situations on the people who are guilty of trademark infringement is something called “injunction”. This actually denies the guilty party to do any actions regarding mark infringement. Although many companies who win the trials obtain a lot of money, this doesn’t happen all the time. If trademark infringement led to a situation when the company lost their profit, the guilty party will have to pay a certain amount of money.

Another common term when talking about trademark infringement is trademark dilution. A popular company can ask another company who uses a similar trademark to stop utilizing it. Denying the use of a specific trademark also requires a deep analyze and there are specific things that need to be taken in consideration.

If you have been accused of trademark infringement, here are some recommended actions to undertake. Do not copy. If you will be making a trademark, make sure that you do it with immense originality. It must be unique. Also, do a search. The uniqueness of your trademark may be verified by doing “trademark search.” Primarily, you can scout for used trademarks on the internet. There are a lot of “trademark search website” which can help you on your endeavor. Secondly, spare some time to visit the Patent and Trademark Depository Library or PTDL to browse for possible similar trademarks that you have. The said library is situated to almost every state.

Keep in mind that a business or company who stole someone’s work cannot be trusted by the public anymore. This is not about the money; it’s about the fact that people will no longer respect your business and products. If you stole someone’s trademark how can you guarantee that your products are original? You can’t and you will gain a bad reputation.

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