When can one company enforce trademark rights against another?

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When can you enforce trademark rights against another?

A business’s brand can draw consumers in or potentially alienate them. Organizations often invest huge amounts of money to develop a brand and market to consumers. A company’s logo or trademarked image can play an important role in setting it apart from the competition.

Unfortunately, simply registering a trademark does not automatically protect a business from infringement. There are, therefore, significant circumstances under which one business could potentially take action against another organization for infringing on its trademark?

When there is intentional infringement

There are some businesses that specifically try to duplicate the packaging and branding of other companies to trick consumers and retail establishments. When one company duplicates another organization’s trademark for its advertising or packaging, those actions could lead to civil litigation.

When there is a likelihood of confusion

One of the reviews necessary to secure formal trademark protection is an investigation into existing trademarks to limit the possibility of serious consumer confusion. Trademarks that are too similar to an existing one won’t be eligible for registration. Often, the goal behind developing a similar trademark isn’t registration but rather confusion.

Some businesses seeking to trick consumers and profit off of the success of another brand won’t outright steal a company’s logo but will do their best to subtly duplicate it. Using very similar names or images, particularly within the same industry, can lead to trademark enforcement because a substantially similar logo from another company creates a reasonable likelihood of confusion that could affect consumer behavior.

Trademark litigation can result in both a court order to prevent further infringement and possibly an award of damages. Taking immediate action when discovering a trademark violation can help a company better defend its brand and reputation with consumers.

It’s important to have a law firm on your side to help guide you. Larson & Gaston has vast experience in business law. Contact us to learn more.