If you go to the store, you will see that there are hundreds of companies making similar products. Trademarks are essential for businesses to let customers know which products are theirs, therefore protecting their company’s reputation. When another company intentionally or accidentally adopts a trademark that is confusingly similar or identical to yours, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against them for trademark infringement. If your suit is successful, the court may place an injunction on the other company, forcing them to stop using their trademark. The company may also have to pay you damages for the financial harm their use of trademark may have caused to your business.
How can I prove trademark infringement?
Each trademark law case is different and will depend on a number of factors, but there are some basically elements you will need to prove to establish that your trademark has been infringed. These elements include:
- Ownership of the trademark – You will need to show that you own the trademark.
- Priority of rights – Generally, the first party to use the trademark will have the right to use it.
- Likelihood of confusion – The key to your case will be showing that the other company’s trademark is likely cause confusion in the marketplace or deceive customers. If the goods and services of the companies are related to each other and there is similarity in the appearance, sound, or meaning of the trademarks, there may be a likelihood of confusion.
Generally, if your trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), ownership of the trademark and priority of rights will automatically be presumed by the court.
Trademark infringement can cause you to lose sales and harm your business and brand reputation. A trademark attorney can help you file your lawsuit and recover the damages you are entitled to.