Obtaining a trademark can protect businesses against unauthorised use of their trademarks. Even if only a portion of the trademark is copied, a lawsuit for trademark infringement may be brought.
The trademarks of an organization determine a great deal of the intellectual property rights of that organization. Marks are used by consumers to signify the quality, origin, and utility of goods and services. In this post, we discuss what you need to do if someone is using your trademark, logo, or any part of it.
Trademark: What Is This?
The trademark is the essence of a company’s identity in a competitive market. Trademarks have many features. Whether it is a logo (the M for McDonald’s), a brand name (Coca-Cola), a label (Arrow), a set of numerals (Forever 21), or even a color scheme (the yellow and red of McDonald’s or Maggi), each qualifies as a trademark.
The use of all of these in a business’ dealings creates an impression that the goods are of a certain standard. Therefore, the law forbids anyone else from using the same combination and gives the impression that the goods belong to someone else.
How Should You Respond When Someone Uses Your Registered Trademark?
When you find a registered trademark that is similar to yours, here are some guidelines to follow:
The following questions should be asked of yourself:
- Are they in the same industry as you? Find out their area of business.
- What products or services do they sell that are similar to yours?
- Are they a new business or have they been using the infringing trademark for a long time?
- Find out if their trademark has been registered by performing a quick public search
- If a reasonable buyer viewed the goods or services, would they be confused or would they feel similar to one another?
An entity infringing your trademark may try to deceive customers by using a similar mark on its goods or services if it falls within the same industry. This is grounds for action.
Trademarks That Are Unregistered
- The courts will consider prior use even if the trademark infringing on yours or yours is not registered
- The likelihood of the first business to use the mark exclusively increases when both trademarks are unregistered
- While your trademark may be registered, other businesses using unregistered trademarks may be able to establish prior use based on certain complementary factors. Their reputation in a specific market may allow them to succeed if they have a steady customer base
- Consulting an attorney can help you learn what rights you have derived from a trademark registration. Unregistered entities may face limitations, such as prohibitions against using their trademarks outside their own geographical market, depending on the circumstances.
Trademark Complaint About Unauthorized Domain Names
- Since it confers identity and address to a brand name, the domain name is a virtual trademark
- The expansion of online shopping has made domain name protection even more important
- Similarly, domain name infringements are subject to the same rules as trademark infringements
- The domain name “marutisuzuki.com” was confusingly similar to “Maruti Suzuki.” This was considered an infringement.
As A Trademark, Can You Use Your Name?
According to trademark law, each individual has a right to use their name for their own business in a bona fide manner. This must, however, be done honestly and without causing confusion. There may also be a well-known person with the same name in the same market. Then, another individual with the same name may not be able to do business under it.