Trademark Infringement Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know
A trademark infringement lawyer protects the rights of an individual who holds a trademark for a product or service. 4 min read
2. Common Types of Intellectual Property Cases
3. Is Suing Over Trademark Infringement Worthwhile?
4. Benefits of Hiring a Trademark Infringement Lawyer
A trademark infringement lawyer protects the rights of an individual who holds a trademark for a product or service. Known as goodwill, the qualities and features associated with a trademarked product, like the Nike "swoosh", are protected under a trademark. Trademark infringement lawyers are uniquely equipped to interpret trademark law and protect your rights.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
Companies worldwide spend thousands annually on trademarks. In addition to obtaining a trademark, businesses and individuals must also proactively protect their exclusive rights to a trademark in order to retain those rights.
Federal law in the U.S. protects trademarks. To receive these protections, a company must register a trademark at the federal level. Trademark registration also gives a business the right to use a name exclusively in the United States.
After obtaining a trademark, a company may sue anyone who infringes on that trademark. Examples of trademark infringement include:
- The sale of counterfeit goods
- The use of deceptively similar business or domain names
- The use of deceptively similar marketing content
In addition to federal trademark law, companies receive some protections under state law. Known as unfair competition, one business may not sell identical goods as another in the same state. However, this protection is only available at the state level; a trademark is needed for a company to secure national protection.
If an enterprise is guilty of infringement, the rights holder may issue an order prohibiting further infringement and receive an award for damages. This award may include treble damages, costing the infringing company between $1,000 and $200,000 per violation of a counterfeit mark, and compensation for attorneys' fees.
Common Types of Intellectual Property Cases
An individual or company may work with a trademark or patent attorney to recover damages if another party infringes on their protected property. Common types of intellectual property cases include:
- Trademark infringement: Copying the goodwill associated with a trademark is illegal. A restaurant, for example, can't copy McDonald's golden arches in their advertising or logos.
- Copyright infringement: A person or business can't use copyrighted content without permission.
- Patent infringement: A person or business infringes on a patent when they make, use, or sell a protected product or process.
- Online privacy and online intellectual property infringement: Using a deceptively similar domain name as a trademarked company is one form of cyber infringement.
Is Suing Over Trademark Infringement Worthwhile?
Suing over trademark infringement is worth the effort in certain situations. Before moving forward with a trademark attorney, consider the following.
- How an infringing company affects your business: If you sell a product locally and another company has a similar name but does business in another state, it might not affect your sales and advertising. However, if you decide to start selling goods online, customers might be confused about which business they are purchasing from.
- The cost of suing: Trademark litigation, especially if a case is appealed, can be expensive. Companies may have no trouble with these costs, but trademark litigation may not be worth the effort for small businesses.
Benefits of Hiring a Trademark Infringement Lawyer
Trade Infringement lawyers are uniquely equipped to navigate federal trademark laws and interpret legal issues to secure a positive outcome in your case. When prosecuting a claim, they gather and present evidence in the best way possible in order to stop the defendant's infringing activity and secure compensation for the damage done.
If you're being sued for infringement, a trademark attorney can contest the evidence and arguments against you to protect your rights and name in court. They can also explore all available resources, such as e-discovery and computer forensics, to find evidence that's difficult or impossible for individuals to access. An attorney can also help appeal a case if needed.
Note that it can be difficult to distinguish between fair use and a case where someone has actually infringed on your property. A lawyer can explain the difference in your specific situation and inform you about the best way to move forward.
A trademark attorney can help you understand the full scope of the problem as well. One company may infringe on another by using trademarked property in webpage content, metadata, ad text, and keywords. A trademark infringement attorney can ensure that all the infringing activity affecting your business is stopped and that you're adequately compensated.
Finally, a trademark infringement lawyer can help you track down anonymous infringers who are using your content without permission. These attorneys can also advise you about other ways to protect your content moving forward.
If you need help with finding a trademark infringement lawyer, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.