A trademark is a “word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others” [Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)]. The yellow “M” symbol that represents McDonald’s or the “Just Do It” phrase that is found on many Nike products are just a few examples of popular trademarks that have become widely recognized. Because trademarks help to distinguish a brand, it can be confusing and even cause a loss in profits if another company attempts to use the same trademark.
In some cases, if a business uses another businesses’ trademark, it could be held liable through a civil lawsuit. When an individual or business uses another business owner’s trademark without authorization “in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services,” this is referred to as trademark infringement. When a party is guilty of trademark infringement. they risk being sued by the party who owns the rights to the trademark.
What happens after a party sues for trademark infringement?
If a trademark owner has a valid case against another party for trademark infringement, the USPTO says the following remedies may be available to them:
- A court order may be issued that would require the defendant (i.e. the party guilty of trademark infringement) to stop using the accused mark.
- An order may be issued that would require “the destruction or forfeiture of infringing articles.”
- Monetary relief (i.e. damages) provided to the plaintiff to make up for the impact the infringement has had on their business.
- An order may be issued that would require the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees.
How does a business owner in Orlando know if they have a valid trademark infringement case?
A business owner or individual can determine if they have a valid trademark infringement case against another party by speaking with an Orlando, FL business law attorney. According to the USPTO, not every trademark is legally protectable which could limit a party’s ability to bring a civil action against another. However, before a party assumes they do or do not have a case, they should schedule a time to discuss the matter with a business law lawyer in Orlando who has experience with handling these types of cases.
The Lawyers at Legal Counsel P.A. Can Address Any Questions or Concerns Regarding Trademark Infringement
If an individual or business owner believes they may be the victim of trademark infringement, they should contact Legal Counsel P.A. to get all of their questions and concerns addressed. The Orlando, FL business law attorney at Legal Counsel P.A. can even assist a party who does have a valid claim against another party take civil action in an effort to recover compensation for the harm the trademark infringement has caused to their business.
Legal Counsel P.A. is located at:
189 S. Orange Avenue, Ste. 1800
Orlando, FL 32801
Email: [email protected]