I often say that a federal trademark registration is like insurance for your brand. It is something that you need to have, but hope that you do not have to use. If you become involved in a trademark infringement dispute, your registration can be extremely helpful.
Being Accused of Trademark Infringement
When someone claims that your trademark infringes upon their rights, it can be a scary situation. After all, a trademark infringement lawsuit could result in you having to rebrand your business. It can also be very expensive to defend against such a lawsuit.
Typically in such a situation, you would receive a cease and desist letter from the other party. That is because it is much cheaper to resolve a dispute before filing a lawsuit, which can cost tens or hundreds of thousands to litigate. If you ever receive such a letter, it is best to work with an attorney to (1) determine if the claims are legitimate or bogus, and (2) try to determine how such a dispute may be resolved without resorting to litigation.
Having an attorney in a dispute also shows the other side that you are taking their accusations seriously. Also, you can communicate with the other party through your attorney, instead of having to deal with the other party (who may be rude or belligerent) directly.
Policing Use of Your Trademark
You might find yourself in the opposite situation: that someone is using a similar trademark without your permission. When that happens, you may want to take action to avoid any potential consumer confusion. Allowing others to use similar trademarks to your own can also weaken your rights or cause your trademark to become generic.
While it is important to protect your trademark from others, you also want to make sure that you have the facts. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney regarding your infringement matter. For example, you might reach out to another party you believe is infringing your rights, only to find out that the other party was actually using its trademark before you. In that situation, you could actually be the infringer and may have just kicked the hornet’s nest.
Working with an attorney helps to ensure you do not end up in that situation. Moreover, the other party is much more likely to take you seriously if you are represented by an attorney.
Are You Dealing with a Trademark Infringement Issue?
If you would like help with your trademark infringement matter, please feel free to call me at (480) 360-3499, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.