Unfair Competition Cases Involving Trademark Infringement


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Trademark infringement is a serious offense to a company with an established brand with a long member in the publicís eye. However, when the opposing entity causes the business from consumers to shift over and start leaving the brand, this could complicate matters and end in litigation for unfair competition practices.

Trademark infringement may occur when the company appropriates the use or similar symbols, words or phrases that deter the original companyís customers or clients away from it through these actions. It is possible to both commit unfair competition practice violations and trademark infringement at the same time through this situation. Then, the company will need to pursue legal action to stop the other entity from continued activity and use of the same or similar brand. Monetary damages often are necessary to repay the damage done to the company through the infringement. Protected through registration, the original business may also have awards through punitive judgment in the courts.

What Is Trademark Infringement?

The use, copy of similar brands through words, phrases or symbols is trademark infringement. This is an illegal act due to the protections afforded through the registration of the trademark for the state or country. If the company seeks to sell only in one state, the same brand could exist throughout the country. However, if national registration occurs, then no other company in the United States or another specific country has permission to use the same brand. Through safeguards in registration, another entity does not have consent to use a brand similar enough to deter the consumer from distinguishing which company is which.

The Case with Trademark Violations

When a company or person faces a violation of intellectual property rights through trademark protections, he or she may need to explain to the judge or jury how the other individual or business is using a word, phrase or symbol that is either the same or too closely similar in resemblance. The act of using such a brand either confuses the public, or it may detract from the business interactions with the consumer or client. This often leads to a weakening of the brand and misinformation about the company to the public. Some green entities known for using processes that protect the environment face injury when the other company counters these activities through waste and Environmental Protection Agency violations.

The trademark violation may also deter business interactions by redirecting the customer or client. The sales of products or services alter from the company with the original brand to the new entity that appears similar. The business or person may intentionally act in this manner to ensure that sales and revenue decrease for the company with the brand or to increase income for the new entity. Through the protections in place with IP that trademarks provide to the person or company, it is possible to pursue legal action for a remedy or compensation. With a lawyer, the person or business may increase chances of a successful outcome.

Infringement and Unfair Competition Suits

After gathering the evidence necessary to proceed through the claim, the company or individual affected may need to acquire his or her trademark paperwork explaining the dates of the brand creation. The original owner of the trademark may need to show the courts that his or her brand has negative consequences due to the new brand. If the image has a close likeness, the words are similar or the phrase has the same meaning, the harm caused is apparent. It is important for the judge to recognize that the brand affected by the infringement existed first and is the subject of the unfair competition practices.

Additional state laws may provide added benefits through protections for trademarks and increase the strength of the case. Then, the owner of the company or the individual may show how the infringement specifically targeted the business revenue or person by diverting consumers or clients to the new brand. Any confusion in which company is which may also bolster the claim against the other entity when the trademark is too closely related. Then, the person or company may seek a monetary compensation, remedy to the situation or both.

Legal Support in Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition

The lawyer hired for the case will need to prove both the infringement and how it relates to and involves unfair competition. The financial data, consumer review and reports and various similar aspects of these circumstances may increase chances of success in proving the case.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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