As a business owner, you need to have a registered trademark for the goods and services you offer. With the competitive market these days, trademark violation is not something new. Some companies could take advantage of your well-established brand to deceive people. Common trademark infringement cases are in the logo, packaging or slogan that identifies a registered business to its users.
As a business owner, you need to know that you can never be on the right always. On some occasions, expect to be accused of trademark infringement. It is more than a nightmare for a small business owner to be accused of trademark infringement. What happens when you are accused of trademark infringement? Frankly, the penalties could be heavy, but you should not sit and watch the accusations. It will be helpful if you seek help from the right channel. You can also seek advice from a trademark lawyer like Morris Turek. You probably could be wondering what to do in such a case so read on to know more.
Analyze the infringement accusation
It is true you could have invaded the law by using a trademark that is not yours. However true this could be, you need to analyze the accuser’s side to find the right channel to follow. In analyzing trademark infringement, you should consider some things.
To begin, you need to know who was the first one to use the trademark in commerce. In such a case, a business that began first rather than the other has the right to claim the trademark. Additionally, you need to know if the accuser has the business registered under the trademark you are accused of.
Secondly, you need to check on the likelihood of confusion. Are you offering the same goods or services as your accuser? There is always a need for you to state what you deal with in either a federal or state court. The purpose of a trademark is to generally help customers avoid confusion from other brands. If you are dealing with different brands and services, it will not be considered trademark infringement.
Next, you should analyze the channel used in communication. The accuser could be threatening you to quit the game, and in such cases, it is good to play smart. Ensure you respond when it is appropriate for you to do so. You should bear in mind that your response could be used against you and ought to be careful, therefore.
Choose an Appropriate Reaction
It will not be a surprise to be on the other side of trademark law. However, you cannot watch the accusations go through as it can affect your reputation. The reaction you choose will matter the fate of your business, bearing in mind you can have severe consequences. Here are ways you can react to solve the matter;
Removal of products. It is not possible that all the goods and services in your business could be violating trademark laws. Well, if you have some goods subject to the accusations, you should think otherwise. One, you have to weigh the consequences and evaluate their value. If you can, you should do away with such services.
Negotiate. It goes without a word that everything has a possible solution. Your accuser could not be that rigid to avoid negotiations. If the negotiations are viable, you can agree on the terms to follow. If you understand, you can have a license under the accuser’s trademark to deal with the same.
Challenge the Accusations
You do not have to be ignorant when accused of trademark infringement. Consulting will surely lead you to a place. Legal authorities can play a hand in it. Once you receive communication on trademark violations, you should contact an experienced attorney.
The lawyer will be in a position to defend you in a federal court to seek justice. If the law falls on you, your attorney should help negotiate the possible charges you will incur.
Change Location of the Business
It could be true you are dealing with counterfeit brands. You will still have the right to the protection of your business and your reputation. If you find out that you have infringed a trademark, you should not let them quit the business.
Have you considered moving to a different area from your accuser? It could be a great deal if you decide to move from the locality. To maintain your customers, you can do formal communication to pass a message.
If you are the owner of either a registered or unregistered trademark, you deserve the protection of your products. It is backbreaking to realize a business you established over a long time is yet to be ceased. You need to follow the right channel at the right time to keep your reputation blooming.
It will cost a business to be on the trademark infringement side, and as a result, you should take heed to protect. It is crucial to remember the reaction you take before you do trademark search. Avoid rush decisions in such cases and use the right communication channel.
You may be interested in: What is a trademark? Definition and meaning