Trademark infringement is defined as the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark. This use may be related to goods or services and may cause confusion, deception, or misunderstanding about the actual company from which a product or service originates. Trademark owners can take legal action if they believe their trademarks are being infringed. If trademark infringement is proven, a court order can prevent the defendant from using the trademark and the owner can receive monetary compensation.
Trademark infringement can occur in any industry or organization and is often the result of an incomplete investigation from the start, leading to significant risks and costly consequences. As a result of this resolution, certain things that were previously prohibited from being trademarks (because they violated the anti-contempt clause) can now be trademarks. We hope that you now understand the basics of trademarks, how to protect them, and what constitutes infringement. trademark law protects the exclusive right of the owner of a trademark to use a trademark when the use of the trademark by another could cause confusion to the consumer as to the source or origin of the products.
Examples of trademark infringement cases include cases where one company sues because it claims that another company is benefiting from its brand without approval. Even in situations where the brand of the complainant and that of an alleged infringer are the same, there can be no consumer confusion or trademark infringement if the alleged infringer is located in a different geographical area or in an entirely different industry. Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights associated with a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensee (provided that such authorization is within the scope of the license). Infringement can occur when one of the parties, the infringer, uses a trademark that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another party, in relation to products or services that are identical or similar to the products or services covered by the registration.
Trademark infringement violations, both at the federal and state levels, are serious and complex issues that can be presented in a variety of forms and require in-depth analysis by an experienced trademark attorney. Even if there is no risk of confusion and therefore no trademark infringement, the owner of a famous and distinctive brand can obtain a court order against any use that may cause the famous brand to be diluted. For the third element of a trademark infringement lawsuit, the owner must prove that the use was made without the owner's consent. Descriptive fair use involves the use of a famous brand to describe another user's products or services.
If the owner of a trademark is not diligent in defending their intellectual property, the originality of their brand may be diluted and they may lose exclusive rights to their brand. Courts often use the “likelihood of confusion” test to determine if a trademark infringement has occurred. These cases not only illustrate how trademark infringement can occur in a large number of industries related to goods and services, but they also demonstrate how many of these results could have been prevented by deeper brand investigation. Trademark rights derived from common law rights are created and maintained through genuine use of the trademark in commerce and are geographically limited.