Paul C. VanSlyke, Senior Counsel at Hoover Slovacek LLP
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Eight out of 10 companies experience trademark infringement

In the competitive global market of today, protecting intellectual property is crucial for every company, large and small. Intellectual property constantly faces the risk of infringement. This is especially true of trademarks. Even with legal protection, trademark infringement remains a major problem for many individuals and businesses. In fact, in 2018, eight in 10 companies suffered trademark infringement--and this statistic shows no sign of decreasing.

Trademark infringement is increasing

According to a recent study from the research organization CompuMark, 80 percent of companies experienced trademark infringement last year. Some companies even faced multiple infringements; 40 percent suffered between one and 10 cases, and 22 percent suffered 11 to 20.

The data also suggest that the number of businesses suffering from trademark infringement increased by 74 percent compared to the numbers from 2017. CompuMark predicts that this figure will rise in 2019.

The substantial damage of trademark infringement

The smallest factor can contribute to a company's demise. For companies competing in a crowded market, violation of intellectual property can be deciding factor between success and failure.

Researchers determined that the most common results of trademark infringement include:

  • Confusion among customers
  • Damage to a brand's reputation
  • Diluted brand identity
  • Reduced loyalty and trust among consumers

To combat trademark infringement, many businesses choose to take legal action, including litigation. Because litigation is an expensive option, it is important to calculate the potential losses caused by trademark infringement. It is difficult to put a monetary figure to soft damage like damage to brand reputation. But many companies find that the cost of litigation is worth it to protect their intellectual property.

Planning for infringement can protect businesses

infringement is becoming so common that it may be wise for companies to proactively anticipate it. It is not always possible to prevent infringement. Businesses can only control their own reactions to it. By planning for it, a company may react quickly to mitigate its impact.

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