How to Deal with the Situation If Someone Is Using Your Trademark
The name, slogan, and logo constitute a business’s identity. People recognize a business using these markers. They enable a business to stand out among competitors. Finding out that a trademark has been stolen and is being used by someone else can be a source of distress for business owners.
The fact that someone else is profiting off on your emotional and intellectual efforts, as well as resources, can make anyone angry. However, it is important to turn this anger into mental fortitude and look into legal remedies for getting your intellectual property back since filing a trademark lawsuit is tricky.
Let’s take a look at the evenhanded course of action one should take in case someone is using their trademark.
Establishing If Trademark Violation Has Happened
Don’t rush into filing a trademark lawsuit even if you are sure that the infringement has happened. Assess the situation through these pointers to find out if you are going to file the correct infringement claim.
No Infringement If the Trademark Is Associated With Non-Similar Goods
If someone is using the same brand name as yours but for some other products or services, then it will not be considered as a trademark infringement in the court of law.
Location Plays an Important Role in Deciding the Fate of Lawsuit
A brick-and-mortar store operating from one state can’t sue a store operating out of another state for using a similar trademark since it doesn’t affect the respective local consumer bases. However, if you are offering online services and countrywide shipments, then you are well within your rights to file the infringement claim.
‘The Sight, Sound, and Meaning’ Rule
Courts usually evaluate if trademark violation has happened by employing ‘the Sight, Sound, and Meaning’ rule. For instance, Pepsi can sue a brand ‘Bebsi’ because it sounds uncannily like it. Similarly, using similar colors and typography for the logo can also invoke trademark infringement rules.
What to Do Next?
Sending a cease-and-desist letter is the first step a business should take if a trademark violation has occurred. This letter actually demands the infringing entity to stop using your trademark and warns of further legal consequences. A seasoned lawyer can help you with crafting an effective cease-and-desist letter.
If the cease-and-desist letter doesn’t bear any result, then you can file a lawsuit in the federal or state court, depending on the geographical radius you and the infringer are catering to. Besides the prevention of further use, the court can also order the infringer to pay you money for two reasons.
- The fortune they have made due to infringement
- The monetary losses you have incurred due to infringement
If someone has already registered a trademark similar to yours, then you will have to file a special trademark infringement lawsuit where the court will decide what changes to be made in order to tell the two trademarks apart.
MK Marketing Services offer trademark and logo services that are not easy to infringe upon. They also make sure that their original designs remain safe from copyright strikes.