A common example of trademark infringement is when clothing manufacturers place branded labels on generic items, trying to make them “pretend to be authentic.”. Trademark infringement violations are very serious and often involve aspects of deceptive business practices. The enormous production of resources needed to defend your brand or organization in litigation can be exhausting for companies of any size. While large organizations are not necessarily the most susceptible to trademark infringement litigation, they are often the most likely to suffer a loss of public image when their cases make the news.
In this blog, we'll review nine recent and unpleasant trademark fights, many of which involve brands you're familiar with. We will also share some ideas on where one or more parties could have taken steps to avoid the problem. A lawsuit by 3M against Changzhou Huawei Advanced Material Co., Ltd for the use of 3N resulted in a victory for 3M and “significant damage” for 3M. Ultimately, despite some differences in products and prices, the notoriety of the 3M brand and the fact that 3N had succeeded in acquiring customers and market share through the use of the similar brand were found to be an infringement.
An analysis points out that this may be indicative of the results of trademark cases in Chinese courts, where these matters are taken “seriously”. While this particular case was complex and confusing, 3N definitely drifted into hazardous areas by emulating the trademark name of such a well-known brand. Ultimately, the “3M” brand was held to have a high distinction and reputation. D2 lawsuit calls for cessation of several types of infringement, including fan products and gaming machines.
It is likely that the MRC knew that D2 owned the brand, due to its repeated failure to obtain a trademark through the U.S. UU. The failure could be due to the distribution company's decision to change the title of the series, due to its inability to obtain a brand. Initially, the Academy was able to prove in court that GoDaddy sold 57 domains with the potential for confusion.
Ultimately, the judge ruled that GoDaddy did not “possess the bad faith intent necessary to make a profit from its sales. While this legal battle was undoubtedly costly, it can be considered a historic judgment in the cyberoccupation space. Similarly, frustrating lawsuits can be avoided when, as in the case of GoDaddy, you may not be able to reasonably expect a third party to “control” your trademark. In one of the most shocking examples of international brand infringement, a South Korean fried chicken restaurant recently lost a brand battle with designer Louis Vuitton.
The court ruled in favor of the designer after finding that the name of the restaurant, Louis Vuitton Dak, was too similar to that of Louis Vuitton. In addition to the infringement of the name, the restaurant's logo and packaging closely reflected the designer's iconic images. The restaurant was eventually punished with another fine of 14.5 million won for non-compliance, after changing its name immediately after the first sentence to LOUISVUI TONDAK. Many brands can avoid equally costly legal battles by avoiding closely mirroring their brand after another, even if the products and purchasing channels have nothing in common.
Adidas recently filed a lawsuit against clothing retailer Forever21 alleging that the retailer's products, which contain a “three stripes” design, constitute “counterfeit products”. Adidas reports that it has “invested millions to build and protect the three-stripe design as a trademark component of its brand and holds “numerous patents”. VentureBeat points out that the motivation for these demands could be based on more than the remarkable similarity of the products mentioned. Swagway is currently facing extensive safety and accident demands for incidents involving falls and fires.
While it remains to be seen how patent infringement allegations will be evaluated in court, there is no doubt that these cases are more complex than simple trademark infringement. They are also motivated by brand protection concepts and a desire to distance products from safety risks reported by Swagway. Taylor Swift recently settled a lawsuit filed by Blue Sphere, a clothing company that owns the “Lucky 13” brand. The organization submitted its application when Swift began selling fan products marked “Lucky 13” and launched a “Lucky 13” sweepstakes, among other activities.
While Swift insisted that 13 was just a lucky number for her and claimed “harassment by the plaintiff,” the results of the lawsuit were not released publicly. A confidential settlement was reached out of court, and Swift has begun to proactively flag other phrases and letters she often uses to avoid future problems. In most of the cases discussed here, results could have been completely avoided with more effective brand research. There's no doubt that a brand search can be time-consuming and confusing, especially if done well.
Human error and incomplete search can open your brand to enormous risks, such as those seen in these nine notable infringement lawsuits. Corsearch offers intelligent, cutting-edge brand search solutions and authorization search analysis by search experts. This unique combination of human experience with accurate, relevant data on a market-leading platform has made us a trusted partner for thousands of brands and IP professionals. A trademark is a word, symbol or phrase that a company uses to distinguish its products from those of other companies.
A service brand works the same way for business services. Trademarks are protected by intellectual property laws. Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of another person's trademark without permission and in a way that may cause confusion, deception, or error in the ownership of goods or services. The most important factors in trademark infringement lawsuits are the similarities of products or services, and the confusion and misassociation that can result from them.
Another option for challenging a trademark infringement is for the trademark owner (through his lawyer) to send a letter of demand (sometimes called a cease and desist order) to the other party in an effort to resolve the situation without going to court. In trademark infringement cases, plaintiffs can request that the court issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the defendant from continuing to use the allegedly harmful trademark while the case proceeds. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), some of the strongest and easiest to protect types of marks are extravagant and arbitrary marks because they are inherently distinctive. Extravagant marks are invented words with no dictionary or other known meaning, while arbitrary marks are real words with a known meaning that have no association with or relation to protected assets.
Federal registration is not necessary to establish trademark rights; if the registration expires or is terminated, the owner can continue to have common law rights to the trademark, starting with actual use. Whether you're the plaintiff or the defendant, it's a good idea to get help from a U., S. A lawyer can help you draft documents, navigate negotiations, and save you additional costly legal problems. File a patent application online with EFS-Web Single interface replacement for EFS-Web, private PAIR and public PAIR Check patent application status with Patent Center and private PAIR Pay maintenance fees and learn more about filing fees and other payments Resolve related disputes with patents with international patent applications File a trademark application and other documents online through TEAS.
Learn about our current legislative initiatives. Learn how to protect intellectual property in other countries. Find upcoming programs related to IP policy and international affairs What is trademark infringement? A trademark owner who believes that his trademark is being infringed can initiate a civil action (ie,. However, in most cases, brand owners choose to sue for infringement in federal court.
Even when a plaintiff chooses a state court, the defendant may take the case to federal court. Instead, a court may rule that (you are not infringing the trademark), (a defense prohibits the plaintiff's claim (s), or (there are other reasons why the trademark owner has no right to prevail). The particular factors considered in a likelihood of confusion determination, as well as the weighting of those factors, vary from case to case. And the quantity and quality of evidence involved can have a significant impact on the outcome of a violation lawsuit.
In addition to alleging likelihood of confusion, the owner of a trademark may claim the dilution of the brand, stating that he is the owner of a famous brand and that the use of his trademark diminishes the strength or value of the brand owner's brand by blurring the distinctive character of the brand or tarnishing the brand image by connect it to something unpleasant or reprehensible, even if there is no risk of confusion. An experienced trademark attorney, considering the particular circumstances of your case, should be able to provide you with an opinion on the validity and soundness of a trademark owner's claims. Resources and Glossary of Trademark Terms The information presented on this site does not constitute legal advice. You should not consider replacing the advice of an attorney.
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The USPTO is currently improving our content to better serve you. Can you describe the problem? Skip footer and go to main content. Before you begin using a trademark, you should perform a trademark search and, if applicable, file a trademark application. A big brand can accuse you of brand dilution if they think your brand is going to reduce the exclusive nature of your sign, even if you use it for different goods and services.
The most common penalty for trademark infringement is a court order or cease and desist letter directing the infringer to stop using the trademark material. Cease and desist letters should be standard practice for trademark owners responsible for monitoring the illegal use of their marks. This means hiring a foreign trademark attorney experienced in trademark litigation in the home jurisdiction of a trademark infringer. The USPTO website is quite easy to use; it is a one-stop shop for reliable tools and resources related to trademark infringement.
These letters can be the first step in negotiating an end to the unapproved use of your brand, which is preferable to litigation. You can infringe someone's trademark without producing a carbon copy; the rules against which you will be charged are nuanced and depend on the idea of the likelihood of confusion. Under the priority principle, you have rights that can be used against your official brand, if you have been on the market longer. Corsearch Trademark Searching can help you establish new brands with a minimum of conflicts and maximum security.
Penalties for trademark infringement may vary from case to case, depending on the extent of the trademark infringement. The first company to use the trademark for commerce, known as the senior user, must prove that the alleged infringer, the junior user, is using a similar trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace. International corporations often file a multi-jurisdictional trademark application through the Madrid Protocol, which streamlines trademark registration in more than 100 countries. .