Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a protected trademark when it’s used to confuse consumers, in order to earn their trust and make some profit. This can also happen if the company name and logo are similar to another trademark, and the product they produce or the service they offer is similar. There are many examples of using brand elements, without even letting them know about them. That’s why in the economy, it’s considered a fraud, because it confuses the consumers, and leads them to believe they have a quality product in their hands.
Anyone who owns a trademark has the right to sue someone who abuses it and tries to make a profit. It is even possible for the case to end in court so that the defendant can be forced to stop using the trademark. Of course, it is possible to pay damages to the victims, destroy the products with misleading branding, and even ban the activity of the culprit, forbidding them to work, or making them stop their business until they resolve the issue.
What is a registered trademark?
Every country in the world has (or should have) a trademark office. People who invented something, or who own a company that produces goods and services, should register in the state’s trademark and patent office, and protect the symbols, words, and colors that define the brand.
If you have your own brand, even a small business, we suggest you use this benefit, so you can be sure no one will copy you. There are so many examples of using others brand elements, to gain trust, and confuse the customers into buying products they don’t want. Many of them pay attention to that, but there are also those who can easily conclude that there was a rebranding, or something similar.
What to do when someone else is using your brand elements?
We hope that you have already registered your brand, and protected it in the local trademark and patent office. If you haven’t done this already, we suggest you start the procedure today. Maybe someone is using your brand to promote themselves successfully, and you are still not aware of it. But, if your brand is protected, you can always file a lawsuit against those who use it without permission. You will also need to hire an attorney, but you really need a good one, so pay a little more attention to beardstclair.com.
We suggest having an attorney from the moment you register your brand. Sometimes, other people or brands will try to match their product with yours, using the brand labels. They want to promote it as authentic, or as a confusing item, to let the product pass off as authentic and real. But, it’s a serious violation of your brand, and you must be aware of it. Don’t risk, it because it’s not worth it.
How can you prove a trademark infringement?
Today it’s so easy to spot someone who is using something, that affects the brand and trademark of someone else. For example, if you have some unique handmade products, and you publish them on your social media, they are available for everyone.
In order to start a case and file a lawsuit, you need to have proof that someone else is “stealing” your work. It’s always a good idea to patent every invention of yours, and to make sure you have registered every tiny part of your brand. In some cases, the social media posts may prove you’ve been the first one to produce the product or own the colors and branding of your small business or company.
So, you need photos, or even the products your competition is selling, that cause likelihood of confusion to the customers. Keep in mind that if you resell some products, that everyone else has, you don’t have the right to sue. The only exception is when the manufacturer has an exclusive deal with you, and they produce a specific product just for you. After that, your attorney will know which actions to take.
Can I know if I am infringing a trademark accidentally?
Before you register yours, you can check the database of registered trademarks and patents. Yes, all the people are different, but sometimes, we may have very similar ideas, that may seem like a copy or plagiarized ideas.
So, we suggest doing some background checks, to see if your business idea is not as unique as you think, or if it’s a completely new thing on the market. By doing this, you avoid being sued, even though you know nothing about the other company.
The important thing to know: The trademark infringement applies to registered trademarks only, in almost every country in the world. When the trademark is not registered, it’s known as “passing off”. Maybe you don’t like this one, but that’s how things work. So, if you haven’t registered it, and someone else is using it, you can’t really prove that it’s your intellectual property. So, think about this on time.
What are the consequences?
When using a trademark that’s not yours, or you think you will pass through the law and no one will notice, you may end up in prison. In the USA it’s a punishable act, almost a crime. That may vary from one country to another, depending on the laws. But, there will be consequences anyway, no matter where you are. Also, you may need to pay huge amounts of money, which may lead to losing your business too.
Knowing all these things, you can easily register your brand, and protect it under the law. Once you do that, you have a complete right to fight against those who try to copy you or sell similar products. No customer deserves to be confused. So, do your thing on time. We highly recommend having an attorney all the time by your side. Also, we hope that you won’t need this type of service, but we can never know what will happen when you get the deserved exposure and people start recognizing your job too.