Paul C. VanSlyke, Senior Counsel at Hoover Slovacek LLP
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How to take action against trademark infringement

You spent a considerable amount of time working on your business to show it is reputable and respectable. What happens then when you suddenly see that your trademark has been infringed on? A trademark carries the goodwill of your company to your customers that your competitors may want to get in on. If you are wondering if your trademark has been infringed on and what you should do about it, here is some information to know.

Is this trademark infringement?

The first thing you need to determine is if your trademark rights are being violated. Trademark infringement is the unlawful use of a trademark or service that is used deceptively to confuse people about where the goods or services come from. You may have common law rights if your trademark is unregistered, but if you have a federally registered trademark with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, you will have a stronger case for an infringement claim.

Get legal representation

Trademark infringement should not be something to pursue on your own. Working with legal experts can provide you with the knowledge needed to move forward since trademark infringement can be highly complex. Besides working with you to determine if you have a viable claim, legal experts can be very valuable in the effort to prove your case.

Prepare and send a cease-and-desist letter

A common first step before the filing of a lawsuit is to send a cease-and-desist letter to the trademark infringer to succinctly explain the infringement. There is the possibility that the infringer was not aware of their actions. The letter should clearly state there is an infringement and they must stop the violation.

File a trademark infringement lawsuit

If the cease-and-desist letter was ignored you should file a lawsuit in state or federal court and move to litigation. Once you are in court, you should be prepared to prove the defendant is infringing on your trademark or using it in a similar way and the use of it is causing confusion to the public between the two companies.

If you feel that your trademark has been infringed on, you should act immediately. The hard work you have put into your business to make it successful and reputable may hinge on successfully defending any outside infringement.

 

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