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How to Handle a Trademark Infringement Notice?

September 16, 2022

Trademark infringement can happen unknowingly or by mistake, but the claim itself doesn’t differentiate. Attorneys are there to help you when you’re hit with a notice, but ultimately the responsibility of handling one lands on your shoulders.

Trademark infringement is severe and can lead to cease and desist letters in most cases. Law firms can help you with most of it, but you’ll need a fair amount of knowledge to comprehend and handle the situation correctly.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is a sign, design, or expression that distinguishes a company from others. It’s the intellectual property of a company used to identify itself.  

The Three Denotations of a Trademark Are:

1. Unregistered trademarks with TM in the superscript

2. Unregistered service marks with SM in the superscript

3. Registered trademarks with R encircled in the superscript

What Is Trademark Infringement?

Trademarks offer exclusive rights to their owners, making it illegal for anyone else to use them without a license. A trademark infringement notice is given when a trademark is used incorrectly or illegally. Competition can confuse a particular product or company’s customer base by copying or imitating a famous company’s trademark. The designs, signs, expressions, if too similar, will come under trademark infringement, leading to legal action

How to Handle a Trademark Infringement

Analyze the Situation

Infringement can happen without knowledge as the design or expression can be created similarly for similar products or services without prior knowledge.  

Many trademark firms offer a free consultation, and you can talk to them and analyze the options attorneys give you. Trademarks are a vital part of a company’s reputation, and in a critical situation, you might have to change yours to protect yourself from legal damage.

Verify the Claim

Competitors can try to claim allegations to challenge you. Such claims can be baseless in most cases but still require hiring an attorney to deal with them. Trademarks are public, and you can compare them yourself before proceeding any further.

Hire an Attorney

Contact an attorney once you have received the notice. Tell them the whole situation and let them know if the claims are valid at any point in time. Your attorney is your first point of contact with the court, and you’ll need to be honest with them and share all information you have.

If someone from your team didn’t copy the design, the attorney could quickly settle things. The attorney will comply with the state laws and set you free with the most viable solution. However, you should always prepare to change the designs, signs, and expressions if the claim turns out to be true.

Trademark Engine is not a law firm and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. General information about the law is not the same as advice about the application of the law in a particular factual or legal situation. Individual facts and circumstances as well as legal principles including but not limited to the ones referenced on this website can affect the outcome of any given situation.

Trademark Engine cannot and does not guarantee that an application will be approved by the USPTO, that a mark will be protected from infringement under common US trademark law, or that any ensuing litigation or dispute will lead to a favorable outcome. If you want or have an interest in obtaining legal advice with respect to a specific situation or set of circumstances, you should consult with the lawyer of your choice.

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