Michael W. Schroeder
How Can You Avoid Trademark Infringement?
For budding entrepreneurs and business owners, the challenge of naming their venture and business is as tangible a challenge as any. Not only are they required to come up with a name that can instantly grab the attention of their target audience and customers, but also settle on one that would allow them to steer clear of the murky waters of trademark infringement.
Often in the rush of getting their operations kickstarted, business owners can overlook the initial naming aspect of it, inadvertently settling on a name that draws significant parallels with an already established entity in the market. Eventually, the brunt of multiple lawsuits and controversies which they are forced to bear ends up having a devastating impact on their business and operations. These types of dangers can largely be avoided by charting a correct course of securing trademark registration at the onset of any business venture.
What Comes Under Trademark Infringement?
Trademark infringement occurs when a business makes use of a mark that is confusingly similar to a mark that belongs to another business, without any authorization. In a typical trademark infringement case, the court will first compare and assess the two trademarks under consideration to determine similarities.
Subsequently, they will proceed with determining the establishment dates of each individual mark, to determine the chronology. Post this, they’ll examine whether the two companies in question are selling similar goods and services or not.
Thus, right from the very beginning, businesses are encouraged to take into account all the various methods and techniques that can help them avoid a trademark infringement lawsuit. A few of these methods have been listed below for the reference of the reader.
Conduct Thorough Research:
Before you proceed with locking down a name for your business, it is advisable that you carry out a thorough and meticulous research of your rivals and other competitors in the market place so that you can steer clear of using one that is already being used by another. Most startups, especially in their early days, fall prey to the temptation of comparing their brand image with an already established business in a bid to drive greater traffic and revenue to their business.
In such an ill-advised process, they inadvertently end up incorporating certain elements that draw strong parallels with their competitor, eventually landing them in serious trouble. While gimmicks like these may perhaps be lucrative over a short span of time, they prove to be extremely counter-productive in the longer run. Always seek the help of a professional and have an extensive research report at your disposal before you sit down to finalize the name of your business. This will help you avoid all those names, domain names, logos, and catchphrases that have already been trademarked.
Enlist Legal Help:
Sometimes, simply settling down upon a name that is completely unique and original, and which has no similarities with existing intellectual properties in the market proves to be inadequate. There also exist other nuances that need to be taken into account.
Hence, entrepreneurs and business owners are always encouraged to enlist legal help in the form of a trademark attorney prior to making any branding and identity-related decisions. Usually, these attorneys have access to various databases which lets them alert you of all possible cases of risk. Outsourcing this task to a trusted trademark attorney is comparatively much-more cost-effective than actually defending an infringement lawsuit in court.
Register Your Trademark:
Registering your trademark presents you with multiple benefits. Federal trademark registration under the Lanham Act provides the trademark owner with the exclusive right to use the mark in U.S. commerce. The Lanham Act also bestows certain statutory benefits upon the owners of registered trademarks, including:
A presumption of validity and ownership over the mark
Protection across the entire country, not just the geographic area of actual use
Nationwide constructive notice of ownership of the mark
The ability to use the registered ® symbol, giving you products/services more marketing prestige and putting competitors on notice that you are serious about protecting your rights
The ability to sue in federal court
Enhanced remedies for infringement, including the possibility of treble damages for willful infringers and criminal penalties for counterfeiting
Enforce Your Trademark:
Federal infringement proceedings are costly, burdensome and time consuming. Effective enforcement at the early stages of any perceived infringement can help significantly mitigate legal costs and resolve problems before significant harm occurs. This can be accomplished through the sending of cease and desist demand letters and/or initiating opposition or cancellation proceedings with administrative entities.
Opting for Trademark.Legal:
Don’t put your business in a position where your entire marketing and branding efforts are at risk of evisceration, due to a loss of your trademark, either from third party uses of confusingly similar terms, improper maintenance, improper use or lack of timely registration in all relevant jurisdictions. Secure your rights today with the highly specialized counsel of Trademark.Legal attorneys so that your business is allowed continued growth and consumer market recognition year in and year out.
Located in Los Angeles County, California, Trademark.Legal is an experienced and renowned law firm that is committed towards helping both individuals as well as businesses grow, protect, and enforce their trademark and intellectual property rights in a competent manner. Our team of highly experienced trademark infringement lawyers help you accomplish this objective by providing you premium, trademark legal counsel at cost-effective prices. Contact us at email@example.com for a consultation with a seasoned intellectual property attorney.