When you spend years creating your own business or service and you put all your effort into making your dreams become a reality, it can be very upsetting to see someone else steal even a small fragment of your work for their own benefit. The good news is there are plenty of rules and laws protecting a person from being incriminated in such a way.
The Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act, is a federal statute that provides various provisions that protect individuals with registered trademarks and prohibits trademark infringement, and other matters such as false advertising.
Not only does the act protect registered trademarks, but trademark rights can be applied to anyone who has created a brand even if it is not registered. However, the best course of action you can take for your business and your product is to have it legally registered as this will expose you to a variety of benefits.
Having a legally registered trademark can make the legal process a lot smoother in the case that someone tries to steal your brand name. It also helps to have your trademark documented just so you will not have to struggle with providing excessive amounts of proof to show you are the rightful owner of the trademark.
Violation of the Lanham Act
To prove that your trademark was unjustly used without your permission you must be able to prove the following:
- You had a legally protectable trademark
- You own the mark
- Consumers can confuse this mark with yours easily
If the individual who is being accused of trademark infringement does not compete in the same niche or commerce category as you then it will be harder to accuse them of trademark infringement. Various factors will have to be considered before laying charges such as the similarity of the infringed marks, the similarity between the goods and services offered, the similarity of the sales methods, the intent of the accused infringer, and the actual existence of confusion by consumers.
If it is decided that trademark infringement really did occur and that the other party unjustly used your reputation to gain profit, they can be penalized for their actions and be forced to pay fines and to desist all usage of the copied brand.
Seeking Legal Relief
Anyone who has had their trademark infringed can claim damages such as the loss of their profits, claiming the infringer’s profits, statutory damages such as for counterfeiting, and also punitive damages because of the willful criminal act that they committed.
It’s no easy task creating a product or service and building up a reputation or goodwill. No one else should be profiting from your hard effort, especially without your permission. You can communicate with a trademark lawyer today to get the legal help you need to protect what is rightfully yours.
Reach a trademark lawyer at Tucker Law today: